Agujas del Río Túnel (ca. 2250m).
Aguja T48, "2", unnamed-unnumbered, south and north summits of "3", Aguja Tenazas and "5".
The 1916 expedition from the Buenos Aires “Sociedad Científica Alemana” (Buenos Aires) named the two of seven summits located between Cerro Grande’s west ridge and Paso del Viento. The second one from the north was named Cerro Tenazas and the first from the south was named Cerro Murallón. Much later, in 1952, Frenchman Louis Lliboutry, cartographer and geologist of the expedition that completed the first ascent of Fitz Roy, grouped Cerro Tenazas and Cerro Murallón and called all seven summits Agujas del Rio Túnel.
Lliboutry saw five summits instead of seven and he numbered them from south to north. The first one in Lliboutry’s count (number "1") is what Kölliker called Cerro Murallón (later "rechristened" Cerro Murallon del Viedma to avoid confusion with the well known Cerro Murallon west of the Upsala glacier) was climbed by Carlos Comesaña and Ismael Palma who renamed it Aguja T48. Lliboutry's number "2" is still unclimbed. There is an independent tower just to the north of "2" than Lliboutry neither saw nor numbered. Lliboutry's number "3" is in fact two towers a south and a north summit, the south still unclimbed. Lliboutry's "4" is what Kölliker named Cerro Tenazas (after the likeliness of its double summit with a pair of tongs) and is also unclimbed. Lliboutry's "5" is also still unclimbed.
As the names now stand, from south to north, from Paso del Viento to the west ridge of Cerro Grande are: Cerro Azara and a minor sub-summit called Cerro Bravo (not part of Agujas del Rio Túnel), followed by the Agujas del Rio Túnel: Aguja T48 (formerly known as Cerro Murallon or Cerro Murallon del Viedma), number "2", an un-numbered unamed and unclimbed summit to the NW of "2", the two towers that compose number "3", Aguja Tenazas and number "5".
Other than T48 and the north summit of number "3" none of the other summits have been climbed.
Argentines Carlos Comesaña and Ismael Palma climbed T48 in January of 1966. They accessed the base from the west, having crossed Paso del Viento and headed north on the Icecap. The climb was completed via the west face, which proved to have very bad rock that held pitons poorly and involved both ice and rock, with some sections up to 5+. The final pitches were mostly ice climbing and the summit mushrooms were climbed from the east. The descent involved ten rappels and 200 meters of down climbing (50˚).
They named the tower after an Argentine Airforce plane called Tango 48, which fell in Panama killing several army officers. The first ascentionists, courtesy of the Airforce, had traveled for free several times to climb in Peru and other locations in this very plane.
The 1958 expedition led by Folco Doro Altan, that included Walter Bonatti and Carlo Mauri reached the col to the north of "2" during one of their exploratory trips.
In May 2013 Argentines Agustín and Juan Manuel Raselli with Ignacio Teerink did the first ascent of the north summit of Liboutry's number "3", climbing a broad snow slope on the east face to reach the base of the north ridge which they climbed mostly on its east side. They christened their route "Por donde empezar." They believe this is one of the easiest towers of the Agujas del Río Túnel group, but point out that the vertical gain was much more than previously thought, with an estimated 550 meters. The climbing is mostly mixed and not overly hard technically although the bad rock quality make it a serious undertaking. Juan Manuel points out that Lliboutry's number "2" looks interesting, as does number "5". He also expressed surprise to ascertain that in such a well traveled massif there are still entire areas waiting to be explored, with multiple summits yet to be climbed.
Patagonia - Resultado de las expediciones realizadas en 1910-16; Colaboradores: Cristóbal Hicken, Alfredo Kölliker, Franz Kühn, Fritz Reichert, Adolfo Tomsen and Lutz Witte; Buenos Aires 1917 - Sociedad Científica Alemana.
Lliboutry L. (1952) Estudio Cartografico, Geologico y Glaciologico de la Zona del Fitz Roy, , Facultad de Filosofia y Letras, Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Photos (click to enlarge)
Agujas del Rio Túnel from the East.
Agujas del Rio Túne from the West.