THE SOUTH TOWER OF PAINE(2850 m)
The South Tower of Paine stands as the tallest of the Paine group. As with the Central Tower, the same British and Italian teams vied for the first ascent, with the Italians making the first ascent in early 1963, making it the last of the Paine Towers to be climbed. At the head of four glacial valleys, the South Tower is the true centerpiece of the Paine range, with the best views of any peak in the area.
This Tower has the longest actual climbing on it(about 3000') and is by far the hardest of the Towers of Paine to climb. From our basecamp in the beech forest, the trail wanders up a dry glacier to the base of a couloir. The couloir is ascended, and crampons are needed to gain the actual base of the climb. The climb follows 1000' of difficult and vertical climbing on the tower's north side to a large low angle area. From here the climb follows the elegant North Ridge, almost 2000' of beautiful 5.6 -5.9 climbing on perfect red alpine granite, with sheer dropoffs on either side to the East and West faces of the South Tower. The climb goes all free at 5.11, although most parties climb it at 5.10, A1. The climb takes 10 to 14 hours to climb, and 4-6 hours to descend, depending on the conditions. Top physical condition is required for this extreme day climb.
Professional mountain guides(1 to 2 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 (Jan 23, 2006-Feb 4, 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 South 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 South Tower.
Day 6 Attempt to climb South Tower.
Day 7Attempt to climb South Tower.
Day 8 Attempt to climb South Tower.
Day 9 Attempt to climb South Tower.
Day 10 Attempt to climb South Tower.
Day 11 Attempt to climb South Tower.
Day 12 Return to Puerto Natales, and celebration dinner.
Day 13 Depart for flight home or continue vacation.
COST OF TRIP - $3,900.00