Michi Lerjen climbs his fourth peak of the Torre Group
Last Monday, on 7 November 2011, Swiss Michael Lerjen from Zermatt and Italian Korra Pesce from Chamonix climbed the rarely repeated „Ragni Route“ of the Cerro Torre West Face. Thus they accomplished the 13th ascent (according to pataclimb.com) of the 1500m-long route (AI5+ M4 MI6 mushroom ice).
While Cerro Torre is the first Patagonian summit for Korra Pesce, Lerjen has ascended all four peaks of the Torre group - Aguja Standhardt, Punta Herron, Torre Egger and Cerro Torre – and is the sixth person ever to have achieved that. Lerjen is also the second person ever to have mastered this “by fair means”, meaning without using Maestris’ bolts during his ascent or descent.
The two Europeans set off last Sunday from the Niponinos camp and, in poor weather conditions and light snowfall, passed Col Standhardt to reach the base of the West Face, from where they started the next morning at 2:00 a.m. Across steep snow slopes they reached the base of the “Elmo” followed by the first crux which Korra Pesce mastered perfectly. Cold temperatures and the approaching end of the good weather window made them speed up. At 15:00 p.m. they reached the summit of the Cerro Torre, proud of their achievement. After a few obligatory pictures they abseiled down in worsening weather conditions, finally reaching their gear stash at 21:00 p.m.
On Tuesday, after a cold and windy night, Lerjen and Pesce traversed the 42km across the “Hielo Continental” glacier to reach El Chalten, where a pizza and a cold beer were waiting for them.
“We’d like to thank Rolando Garibotti whose website pataclimb.com and whose info and advice are invaluable”, says Michael Lerjen.