Aguja Guillaumet - East face
8.1 Courrier du Sud
8.2 Terre des Hommes
450m 95º 5+
Jim Jennings and Robert Beger (USA), 8 to 10/3/1979.
Description. It begins up a large couloir in the east face climbing a 95º section to overcome the initial bergschund-serac, then heads left into mixed ground before regaining the ice face to eventually head left again, across more mixed ground to top out 100 meters south of the summit, along the south ridge. The climb has many interesting pitches in both rock and ice, including one tension traverse to gain the central ice face. During the first ascent 16 pitches were climbed.
History. They made two bivies on the way up, one on top of pitch 3 and one on pitch 12. They retreated from the base of the summit pyramid, some 40 meters below the summit itself, after joining the Cresta Sur route, which Carrington and Rouse had climbed two years earlier. The retreated because they thought the last pyramid would require bolts, but as it turns out it was later climbed without. In 1993 Andy Parkin (UK) and Stephen Koch (USA) climbed much of the same route thinking it was virgin ground. As it turns out their “Terre des Hommes” is not much more than a variation to Beger-Jennings line.
In early 2013 a party repeated the Beger-Jennings to Terre des Hommes link-up and claimed to have climbed a 500 meter very difficult new route (7a grade, etc). They publicized this first ascent with great fanfare in mountaineering websites around the world (famous for not bothering to fact check claims) but when pressed for details by knowledgeable editors from the American Alpine Journal they clarified that they had merely climbed "variation stuff" and that it might not be "even worth to write something about that". Cynicism does not get better than that.
In late 2013 Colin Haley (US) free-soloed the Courrier du Sud to Beger-Jennings to Terre des Hommes link-up in an impressively fast two hours and six minutes.
Approach. Rio Blanco to Paso Superior to Glaciar Piedras Blancas Superior, or via Piedra Negra to Paso Guillaumet.
Descent. Descend via the Amy-Vidailhet couloir.
Bibliography. AAJ 1980 p. 598-599; Montagnes Mag #22 p. 21