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Cerro Catedral: A Video Trip Report

Posted on: March 8th, 2010 by admin

Make some popcorn, pop open a frosty beverage, and settle in for half an hour in front of the computer. This video trip report is well worth your time.

Mason Earle, a 2009 AAC Mountain Fellowship winner, traveled to Chile’s Torres del Paine in January and February with Britons Pete Rhodes and George Ullrich to attempt an all-free route on the El Cap–size east face of Cerro Catedral. The trio of young climbers planned to start up La Escoba de Dios and then strike off for a corner and crack system to the left. In the end, they climbed 15 pitches (nine of them new) and did some very impressive free climbing (several 5.12 pitches) despite horrendous conditions. You can read a news story about the attempt by AAJ associate editor Lindsay Griffin here. The video below, produced by Pete Rhodes, offers a great look at the action, complete with miserable cave living, jumar whippers, nasty spindrift, and some very serious climbing.

Incidentally, this same Patagonian peak was the scene of an award-winning film by AAC member John Catto, who filmed his teammates Charlie Fowler, Pete Gallagher, and Max Kendall as they completed the first ascent of La Escoba de Dios in 1992. You can get a taste of the film via this old National Geographic Explorer clip at YouTube. Meanwhile, check out Pete Rhodes’ superb film of the 2010 expedition: