Torres Del Paine
Torres del Paine is unique in many ways. The quality of the rock and cracks is unique, probably some of the best to be found any where in the world. Yet surprisingly it is a place of solitude. Many classic routes see no ascents all season and the base camps are mostly empty. There is every level of climbing in Torres del Paine! From moderate day climbs to serious big walls, the true factor of decision is the whether. Notorious for it’s strong winds, the big walls of Paine take time to climb while some of the classis on the towers can be climbed in a short window.
The 3 towers of paine all have moderate routes that are climbable in a day or two! An IFMGA certified guide can bring you to the most incredible spires of Patagonia.
Torre Norte/North tower:
The Monzino route is beautiful is one of the most accessible of the park and is climbed in one day.
Taller del sol is a Masterpiece . It gaines the summit of the north tower by a system of splitter cracks that have nothing to envy to Yosemite!
Torre Central/Central tower:
The Bonnington-Whillans Ultra classic : One of the best routes ever!!! A succession of perfect cracks, mostly in the 5.10 range, gives way to the most emblematic summit of Torres del Paine. A One day ascent for strong 5.11 climbers or 2 days for taking it a bit easier.
East face Big wall routes:Riders on the Storm, Fina linea de locura, South Africain route...these are all major and serious routes.
South tower/Torre Sur:
The Aste route is of moderate grade, a few 5.10's but mostly in the 5.6-5.7. It is long and very Alpine. 1-2 days.
The Torres traverse
The ultimate combination of Tailler del Sol, the Bonnington-Whillans route and the Aste route over three to four days, following the skyline and covering some of the most incredible ground and climbing the three emblematic spires of Torres del Paine. Reserved for expert climbers!
Valle del Frances- The French Valley:
The french Valley is home to some the best rock climbing in the Torres del paine!
Cerro Cathedral: this summit is home to difficult aid routes
Cuerno este: Caveman has wild climbing at a moderate grate. It’s called cave mane because the wind has dug out caves big enough to bivy in on te sheer vertical wall!
La aleta del tibujon: The sharks fin is one of the most classic climbs in the park, accessible at 5.7 and very fun!
La oja, La espada and la mascara: Respectively the leaf , the blade and the mask. These summits have great climbs, beautiful granite and are often sheltered from the wind and storms!
The highest summit in the park!! Incredibly It has only been climbed 4 times. Although not very technical it is very exposed to the strong winds.The rime mushrooms at the summit are like an easier version of Cerro Torre. The Paine Grande is a must do for a experienced alpinist!
Torres Del Paine still holds much potential for First Ascents!
Regular Route, Cuerno Principal/Main Horn
The cuerno Princial is the emblematic summit seen on all photos of the Torres del Paine. It is mostly scrambling on loose sedamentary rock with some 5.8 portions. Although not the best rock quality in the park, it is climbable in a day and a superb summit.
Southeast Ridge, El Gemelo Este/The East Twin
At 5.10 this beatiful and quite unknown summit of the Torres del Paine is a true gem. Is lies at the very end of the Italian Valley and has a very unique view on the three towers.
Climbing in this part of the world requires a very precise strategy. Two approaches are most classically used.
Strategy 1 : Taking a long vacation! Three weeks usually gives a reasonable chance to have a good whether window which will allow to tackle a serious objective. This is the strategy most commonly adopted. During these three weeks, there are plenty of things to do! Stashing the gear at the foot of the climb to be as reactive as possible when the window comes in, keeping fit by cragging and bouldering on the quality rock around El Chalten and making the most of even a short 12h window to climb peaks such as Aguja Guillaumet, El Mocho, Mojon Rojo, Cerro Solo...and much more!
Stategy 2: The huge improvements in weather forecasting now allow to see the biggest high pressure systems (long good weather windows) up to 10 days in advance. For someone with little vacation time this can allow to climb one of Patagonia's most challenging summits in a 10-12 day round trip from home...sounds pretty crazy when you think about the 6 week expeditions of the 90's!The weather window that allowed my 2016 ascent of Cerro Riso Patron (probably the worst weather in Patagonia, a lot worst then Cerro Torre...) was visible 15 days before it settled! This is a great strategy but you need to stay fit and ready!