Aguja Poincenot (ca. 3002m).
The name of the mountain remembers Jacques Poincenot, one of the members of the French expedition that conquered Fitz Roy in 1952. In late 1951 Poincenot was attempting to cross the Fitz Roy river when he lost balance and was pulled by the strong current. He got stuck at the end of his safety rope, but could not swim to shore. He is buried in Puerto Santa Cruz. Poincenot was one of the best climbers of his generation, and had earned himself a big reputation as such.
During that expedition the cartographer, the respected glaciologist Louis Lliboutry, made the first complete and accurate mapping of the area.
In 1962 Don Whillans (UK) and Frank Cochrane (Ireland) made the first ascent of the mountain via its East face (see Whillans-Cochrane route). There is no record of previous attempts on the peak.
After a visit to the area in 1989, during which he climbed a new route on Aguja Poincenot, famed Swiss climber Michel Piola wrote of what he saw.
“And Tomorrow? More and more expeditions, basecamps provided with real wooden cabins, bags of rubbish, signposts, new concrete bridges to ease the river crossings, the village of Chalten in its frenetic built up.... All these factors force us to recognize that this region of Patagonia is hopelessly evolving towards a concept of accesibility and civilization similar to the standards defined by our modern world. The disfigured landscapes and the bulldozers marking out the road of ‘progress’ are challenging us and asking us to pause and reflect: will man ever succeed in restraining his boulimic hunger for material things, and finaly have enough respect for a place to agree not to provide it with ‘amenities’? That’s the price that we must pay if we don’t want to turn the world into a giant structured Lunapark, in which the Human Being will only be a pawn without personality or initiative. We do not deserve that, and neither does Patagonia...” (Vertical 32, p. 28-37; Montain magazine 130, p. 20-25)
Photos (click to enlarge)
Aguja Poincenot - east face
Aguja Poincenot - north face
Aguja Poincenot - south face
Aguja Poincenot - west face