Aguja Saint-Exupery - Southwest face
500m 7c A2 (8a?)
Kurt Albert, Bernd Arnold and Egbert Dozekal (Germany), 8/2/1998.
Description. This route climbs a crack system on the right side of the south face and after 500 meters of new terrain joins the ruta Italiana 200 meters below the summit. Of the 14 new pitches all were climbed free (to 7c) except for pitch number 8 that sports a very thin 15-meter finger crack, which was climbed using aid (A2), but that the first ascensionists reckon would go free at 8a. They placed a total of 101 bolts!!, including two bolts at every belay (including some along the ruta Italiana). Likely many of these bolts are next to perfect cracks that can easily be protected with removable pro.
The route has two very distinct sections: the first seven pitches involve steep straight in cracks of every size, followed by two very thin crack pitches that require some aid and four more pitches involving discontinuous flakes and face climbing just left of a marked arête. From that point to the summit follow the upper tier of the Italian route which involves mainly moderate climbing, including crossing some snowfields which might require boots and crampons early in the season. It should be noted that after a long period of bad weather this route gets very icy and would be a not very enjoyable proposition. Also keep in mind that the sun leaves the face at around 1:00 PM.
History. This line was completed with the use fixed ropes and powerdrill over a period of several weeks. It was named after a popular comic strip known for its heated tone, which Kurt read in an attempt to learn Spanish. As a result however he just learned a whole lot of bad words. The route has not been repeated.
Approach. Laguna Sucia.
Pro. 101 bolts in place...
Descend. Down the Italiana then down the same route.
Bibliography. AAJ 1998 p. 281; High magazine 192, p. 22; Klettern magazine 1998/3 p. 16; Berg yearly journal 1999 p. 81-85; Desnivel magazine 155 p. 96.