Climbing Paso Superior to the base of the Brecha de Italianos

Climbing Paso Superior to the base of the Brecha de Italianos

I just returned from a climb over Paso Superior and accessing the very base wall of Fitz Roy. A real climber would consider this a mere trek. During the summer when the route is still covered with snow left over from the winter it’s an easy climb because the snow tends to level things out. With a light dusting of snow in late fall, it was a challenge because the crevasses were wide open and light snow covered the rock hiding places to put your hands and feet.
Paso Superior is essentially the last gap before starting to climb Fitz Roy or Poincenot. Just before the pass, there’s a small sheltered area with a depression in the snow, which is base camp for anyone climbing Fitz Roy from the east. It’s easy to imagine what it would be like in the summer with numerous foreign climbers.

I agreed to go with my local friend Sebastian despite the weather forecasting snow. It was nice to venture somewhere new and it will remain a good memory; one, which I feel, will give more meaning to the photographs I’ve taken during my time in this area. I’m sure if given the chance earlier in my life I would have taken up alpine climbing. Generally, the term alpine climbing means to climb on mixed snow and rock while carrying all other equipment such as camping gear.
My climbing partner Sebastian works in Chalten as a heating engineer, he works a lot, and can’t get out as much as he would like, due to this he’s rather unfit. This is a shame because on a good day he’s a strong and competent climber.

If time allowed I would love to have made an attempt on the climb of the Brecha de Italianos (see pic), which would have given excellent views of the ice field and the Torre range to the west.

We climbed into the dark under headlamp until we’re able to camp at a place called Punta Velluda, or ‘Hairy Point’. I’m guessing the name was chosen due to the spiked rock pillars rather than the English term, which could give another meaning. Thankfully by morning, I was able to cajole my friend into continuing.

Here are some images shot with a basic point and shoot:

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