Aguja Volonqui (ca. 2200m)
Colmillos: Sur, Central and Norte
The ridge north of Cerro Rincon has five distinct granite summits, the three Colmillos, Sur, Central and Norte, a sharp fin like tower called Pizarra Escondida and the northern most and higher summit called Aguja Volonqui.
The late Hector Vieytes, a renowned Argentine climber and sleeping bag manufacturer, was responsible for naming Volonqui. For almost two decades until his death in 1994, Vieytes was the host of many international expeditions when they passed through Buenos Aires heading to Patagonia. In 1977 Rab Carrington, who narrowly missed the first ascent of Volonqui in 1976, spent several months in Buenos Aires working with Vieytes. When he returned to the UK he used his newly acquired skills to start the company Rab, a very successful clothing and gear company these days.
Englishmen Alan Rouse and Rab Carrington climbed to within two meters of Aguja Volonqui's summit in December of 1976. They climbed the east face and south ridge. From the Marconi glacier they negotiated a heavily crevassed glacier to reach a wide couloir to the left of the peak’s east buttress. This led to a col overlooking the Ice cap and to the south ridge, which they followed to the summit. The climbing from the col to the top involved nine or ten pitches of ice and mixed climbing, leading to a final two-meter tall mushroom, which the first ascensionists deemed too unstable to climb. They needed 20 rappels to descend.
In late 2013 Colin Haley (US) and Sarah Hart (CA) completed an ascent of the peak via a new route immediately left of the east ridge. They climbed an enjoyable ice and mixed line with some steepsnow, some moderate mixed climbing, one pitch of steep ice, a bunch of mellowice, and one pitch of tricky thin ice. The hardest climbing was the lastpitch (M5), which involved one move of A0 pulling on a cam, and then amantel onto the ridge just 10 meters horizontally away from the summit boulder.They descended the Carrington-Rouse route via a combination of rappelling anddown-climbing. They named their route “El Lobito” (400m, AI4+ M5 A0) and highly recommend it. The name refers to one of El Chaltén's many, far too many dogs. Lobito is a moody creature that can be extremely friendly at times and then bite fiercely other times.
In August 2013 Hervé Barmasse (IT), Martin Castrillo and Pedro Fina (AR) did the first ascent of Colmillos Norte and Central. We will post more details about these ascents once we have them. Colmillo Sur is still unclimbed.
Torre Pizarra Escondida.
In mid March 2014 Erich and Stefan Gatt (AT) climbed the fin like tower between Colmillo Norte and Aguja Volonqui christening it Pizarra Escondida. Their route which they called "Alfajores, chauras y demás" follows the Carrington-Rouse to right below the ridge (300m to 60˚) to then head left to the col, climbing two pitches on the east face of the tower (30m 6b, 30m 6b A2) to reach the summit. They rappelled the route.
AAJ 1978 p. 581-583; Mountain magazine 58 p. 18-21; Climbing magazine 47 p. 5-11.
Photos (click to enlarge)
Aguja Volonqui and Colmillos - east
Aguja Volonqui - east and south face
Cerro Rincón, Colmillos and Aguja
Volonqui - northeast face