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Americans to Attempt New Routes in Patagonia


by Jonathan Copp

December 31, 2001

Camp4 - Climbing News Archive

When and Where:

Jan 5 - Feb 28, 2002
Fitzroy Group, Argentina, Patagonia

The Goal:

To ascend, in alpine style, the West Face of Pierre Giorgio via a new route (click on photo to the right to view proposed line). Secondary objectives include the first ascent of the original Maestri Route on Cerro Torre, and a new route on the East face of Poincenot (click on bottom photo to see proposed line).

Elaboration on our goal: The Pierre Giorgio Massif is one of the largest formations in the Fitzroy Group, as well as one of the least explored. Its West face has seen two ascents, both of which were established in "big-wall" style, using many fixed lines and fixing of gear. Free climbing is our ideal, speed the impetus. We would like to do a ground up "alpine-style" ascent of this wall via a new route. We eschew the use of bolts and pins, leaving only webbing for rappel anchors when possible. Bruno Sourzac comments on the wall, "the best Granite we had ever seen." (AAJ 1999)

Our second objectives, conditions dependent, are the first complete ascent of the controversial Maestri route on Cerro Torre, a route that has been in the public eye since the late fifties and has never been completed, and a continuous line up the spectacular east face of Poincenot. No routes to date climb this entire side of the mountain. The closest anyone has come to a continuous line was begun off of a snow ramp 1500 feet above the base of this extraordinary wall (D.Anker and M.Piola, 1989). We would like to complete these routes in the style we relish, climbing with two ropes and minimal bivouac gear.


Travel to Chalten (January 25-30); Hike into Los Glaciers (Feb. 1-2) Set up Advanced Base Camp; Wait for a weather window

Trip research completed by first hand inspection in Patagonia, time in the American Alpine Club research library (Golden, CO), and discussions over slide images with Rolando Garibotti and Jim Donini. (one memorable quote from Jim - "There is no way Maestri even made it to the Col of Conquest!") This goal has been in the works for almost two years now. Our team consists of Dylan Taylor (26) and Jonathan Copp(27). Our philosophy is to keep things simple and move fast. Between the two of us, this credo has fueled many first ascents in areas such as Patagonia, Canada, and Pakistan. We are both avid photographers, each having had our work published in the past. Dylan and I both believe in giving back to those that encourage and help cutting edge and eco-minded exploration. Jonathan currently earns a living through free-lance writing and photography (and pounds the odd nail when funds are thin). Dylan works as a Mountain Guide for the American Alpine Institute out of Bellingham, WA, and is completing his masterís thesis in Geology at Western Washington University. The title of his thesis is "The Origin of Mafic Lavas near Glacier Peak, Washington".

Jonathan Copp

DOB: 3/26/74
Recipient of the Robert Hicks Bates Award for Mountaineering Achievement 2001
A few notable ascents:

  • FA of S. Face of Cerro Mascara, Torres Del Paine, Patagonia
  • First Free Ascent of the Original Route, Mt. Proboscis, Cirque of Unclimbables
  • First Alpine Style ascent of grade VII, Shipton Spire, Karakoram, Pakistan
  • First Ascent of Armageddon on W. Face of the N. Howser Tower, Bugaboos
  • First Ascent of Black Hole (V+, 5.12), Black Canyon, CO
  • First Ascent of the Catís Ear Spire, Karakoram, Pakistan

Dylan Taylor

DOB: 05/01/75
A few notable ascents:

  • 3rd Ascent of Taller del Sol (V 5.11) W. face, TorreNorte, Torres del Paine, Chile
  • Two-day linkup of Liberty Crack (V 5.11 A3), E.Buttress of South Early WinterSpire (IV 5.11 AO), and W.. Face of North Early Winter Spire (IV 5.11), North Cascades, Washington.
  • 3rd ascent of Vuelo Del Condor, E. face of Cuerno Este, Chilean Patagonia
  • 1-day ascent of El Capitan West face (V 5.11),Yosemite, California
  • The left Grand Wall (V 5.12 AO), Squamish Chief, British Columbia
  • Guided many trips up Mt. Baker, Shuksan and peaks of the Klawatti Icefield

Jonathan Copp

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