Last season, CAMP USA athletes Ben Erdmann and Jess Roskelley tackled what some have called “the best ice climb on earth” with an ascent of the West Face of Cerro Torre in Patagonia. These two are used to climbing big routes together in remote locations, and although Cerro Torre is only a day’s walk from the trailhead, it remains one of their favorite experiences. They share their kit and itinerary for the ascent.
- 1x set of X-Dream tools with special bolt-on “wing kit” for getting purchase in low-density rime ice.
- 1x set of All-Mountain tools
- 2x sets of Blade Runner crampons
- 2x Cassin X-Gryo leashes
- 2x CAMP Armour helmets
- 1x 9.6mm 60m dry rope
- 1x 63m skinny (~7mm) static rap line
- 11x ice screws (most short, some up to 22cm)
- 1x set of cams
- 1x set of nuts
- 2x pickets
- 1x MSR Reactor stove
- 3x small fuel cannisters
- 2x 40L packs
- A 9.6mm 60 meter rope and skinny rap line
We started at 10 p.m. by headlamp, with a quick brew up at the col around 2 a.m. and we soloed and simul-climbed until steep terrain had us pitching it out. Another fast fire of the stove at the Elmo (below the headwall) at 9 a.m. and through the mixed terrain to the blue ice headwall. We climbed through rime tunnels and to the base of the final pitch at 2 p.m., and in full sun. We topped out and rapped during the evening until the night set and we continued until back at the Col de Esperanza, where we jumped in an abandoned snow cave and brewed and shared our last meal. We descended east to the Cirque of the Altars and started the long slog across the ice cap back to Paso Marconi and the forested valleys that open below. This was a carry-over climb where we began on one side of the mountain, crossed over a ridge, and after reaching the summit, we descended and hiked out via the valley on the other side of the mountain on the 12-mile return to the road.