Sean Villanueva and Stéphane Hanssens took advantage of the perfect ice conditions in Patagonia to climb the legendary Cerro Torre, also known as the impossible mountain. The duo reached the top on December 25. They went up via the south flank of the mountain, taking the Ragni Route (600m 90 M4). The route was opened in 1974 when an Italian quartet consisting of Daniele Chiappa, Mario Conti, Casimiro Ferrari and Pino Negri. Experts such as Rolando Gariboti and Collin Haley deem this route the nicest ice climb in the world.
Sean said “It went very well, even with our limited ice climbing experience. We had only climbed on ice for one week in our entire lives. It is also the first time we reached the top of a mountain not using our climbing shoes.” Sean emphasizes that the conditions were exceptional. Every year, several climbers try to summit this mountain, but only 22 of them were successful without using the ladder of the Compressor route (which doesn’t exist anymore).
After this ice climb, Sean and Stephane spent some time bouldering in the valley. Not long after climbing Wasabi two weeks earlier, Stephane is still on a roll, sending two new 8As.