On February 2 a team of Russians and Ukrainians made the second ascent of Golazo (VI 5.10 A4+, 1200m, 25 pitches), Steve Schneider’s 1999 solo route on the east face of Central Tower of Paine (2460m), Patagonia, Chile. [Photo] Steve “Shipoopi” Schneider
A five-man team of Russians and Ukrainians completed the second ascent of Golazo (VI 5.10 A4+, 1200m, 25 pitches) on the east face of Central Tower of Paine (2460m), Patagonia, Chile (see Issue 18‘s Mountain Profile for the tower’s complete history). The route had gone unrepeated for eight years until February 2, when the team–leader Arkadij Seregin, Timur Achmedhanov and Igor Pechterev of Russia, and Siergey Kovalev of Ukraine–reached the summit after nearly three weeks of battling with route difficulties and rough weather. Calm periods amid harsh winds allowed them to fix 400 meters of rope before ascending the tower capsule style.
On the first ascent in February 1999, Steve Schneider and Christian Santelices had similar troubles with the weather: “typical Patagonia with snow and high winds every day,” Schneider said. The first week was so frustrating that Santelices returned home, leaving Schneider to complete the route alone over eleven more days. He reached the summit on March 12, establishing Golazo and making the tower’s first solo ascent.
Other recent activity on the Central Tower includes the area’s first BASE jump, a 1400-meter flight which Valery Rozov completed on February 24. To reach the top he climbed the Bonington-Whillans route (V 5.11 A2, 700m) in two days with Russian Big Walls Project hardmen Odintsov, Ruchkin, Provalov and Kachkov (read about the Project in Odinsov’s article, The Walls, The Walls in Issue 19).
Valery Rozov BASE jumps from the top of the Central Tower of Paine (2460m) for one of the longest wingsuit flights on record. Rozov dropped 1400 meters in 57 seconds, and traveled approximately 2200 meters overall. [Photo] Courtesy of mountain.ru