THE NORTH TOWER OF PAINE(2600 m)
The North Tower of Paine was first ascended in 1958 by an Italian team led by Count Guido Monzino. Their route follows the South Ridge from the Col Bich, a magnificent V-Notch between the North and Central Tower. The final summit is a 60-foot high gendarme that is overhanging on all sides. In what has to be one of the most amazing summit pitches on the planet, a line of holds on the south side of the block offers a stellar 5.8 path to the couch sized summit.
From a beautiful and relaxing basecamp in the forest, an arduous 5-hour approach leads to the Col Bich. While some technical climbing is involved near the col, this is mostly hiking on both rough trail and talus slopes. From the Col Bich, a series of cracks leads up immaculate granite for two hundred feet, with just a move or two of 5.10 climbing. From here the climbing eases for the next 800 feet, mostly scrambling and easy fifth class climbing (up to 5.4). A large platform is then reached from which the 5.8 summit tower is ascended. From the summit, views stretch to the Southern Patagonian icecap to the North, the Central Tower to the South, and the pampas of Argentina to the East. The climb from the Col Bich to the summit should take around 3 hours.
Professional mountain guides(1 to 3 guide-client ratio), airport pickup in Punta Arenas and shuttle service to Puerto Natales, three nights hotel rooms in Puerto Natales, all bus shuttles to and from the park, entrance and permit fees, porter and cook fees, all expedition food, community gear(such as first aid supplies, walkie talkies,cooking gear and stoves,) and all community climbing gear(including ropes, fixing lines, carabiners, cams, nuts, and pitons).
YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR
Flights to and from Punta Arenas, personal equipment(clothing, harness, ice axe), all meals in Puerto Natales(about $20/day), and medical insurance.
ITINERARY-13 Days (Dec 28, 2005-Jan 9, 2006)
Day 1 Arrive to Punta Arenas via Santiago, airport pickup and transport to Puerto Natales, check in to the Hotel, and have a brief meeting, before enjoying a delicious meal
Day 2 Rest, prepare, and pack for trip. We will check people's equipment, have a further discussion on the logistics of the expedition, and enjoy the scenic sights of Puerto Natales.
Day 3 A scenic three-hour bus ride and a six-hour hike to basecamp.
Day 4 Attempt to climb North Tower (We will have 8 days in which to find a weather window and make the summit. We may ferry some gear and fix ropes during this time in preparation. If we make a successful ascent early on, we will use the remaining time to hike and explore the area.)
Day 5 Attempt to climb North Tower.
Day 6 Attempt to climb North Tower.
Day 7 Attempt to climb North Tower.
Day 8 Attempt to climb North Tower.
Day 9 Attempt to climb North Tower.
Day 10 Attempt to climb North Tower.
Day 11 Attempt to climb North Tower.
Day 12Return to Puerto Natales, and celebration dinner.
Day 13 Depart for flight home or continue vacation.
COST OF TRIP - $3,250.00