Laura Tiefenthaler successful in Patagonia

Austrian alpinist Laura Tiefenthaler makes the most of the short windows of good weather in Patagonia. At the beginning of the year, together with rope partner Thomas Bukowski, she climbed the El Corazón route on the east face of Fitz Roy in a 70-hour marathon. She recently repeated the Potter-Davis on the north face of Aguja Poincenot with Tad McCrea in a 35-hour push.

When a short weather window was announced at the beginning of the year, people hesitated Laura Tiefenthaler and Thomas Bukowski not for long. Due to the uncertain forecast, they decided on the east face of Cerro Chaltén, from which retreats are relatively easy. “We also chose this exposure in order to be protected from the wind and to find dry conditions,” says the mountain guide and alpinist from Innsbruck.

The route El Corazón by Kaspar Ochsner and Michal Pitelka from 1992 leads through the mighty east face of Fitz Roy. Image: Laura Tiefenthaler and Thomas Bukowski.
The route El Corazón (1250m 45˚ 6c A3 M) leads through the mighty east face of Fitz Roy Kaspar Ochsner and Michal Pitelka from 1992. Image: Laura Tiefenthaler and Thomas Bukowski.

This is undoubtedly the biggest climb I've done in this area, and it took place in a window where there was little good weather.

Laura Tiefenthaler

Unexpected 72 hour marathon

The duo set off from Paso Superior at 6am. Two hours later they had overcome the bergschrund, but had difficulty finding the entrance. "We saw the crack we were after, but we couldn't reach it."

Rectangle_Knatsch in Magic Wood

After three false starts, they finally found the right line around 13 p.m. and were able to start climbing. “I was happy and also a little proud when we had completed twelve pitches by eight o’clock that evening.”

The conditions in the lower part were good, she remembers. “The cracks were partly wet, but never icy.” The Aquarian Roof lived up to its name. “Thanks” to the cold shower, the woman from Innsbruck shivered at every stand from then on.

Luckily, I was almost dry again by the time we reached our Biwi spot at 00.30:XNUMX a.m.

Laura Tiefenthaler
A well-rounded team: Laura Tiefenthaler and Thomas Bukowski.
A well-rounded team: Laura Tiefenthaler and Thomas Bukowski.

They reached the summit at 3 a.m. and then started abseiling at the same time. “After a rope jammed three times on the long overhanging abseiling points, we had to cut one of our ropes.”

At around seven o'clock in the evening they finally reached their camp on Paso Superior. The anticipation of the food deposited there and a good night's sleep was huge. But it shouldn't come to that.

Our tent had learned to fly and was gone, blown away.

Laura Tiefenthaler

So they had no choice but to make their way back to El Chaltén in strong winds and rain. Her “little trip” took a total of 70,5 hours. “Disaster fashion in its purest form,” sums up Laura Tiefenthaler. Despite, or perhaps because of, such escapades, she likes life here in Patagonia so much. “Just pure climbing.”

In the footsteps of Dean Potter and Stephanie Davis

In mid-January, the Innsbruck native set off on a new adventure, this time with Tad McCrea. This time the Dean-Potter (400m 75˚ 7a C1) on the north face of the Aguja Poincenot was on the program.

Laura Tiefenthaler and Tad McCrea
Together with Tad McCrea, Laura Tiefenthaler repeats the demanding Dean Potter route on the Poincenot north face.

Tiefenthaler and McCrea climbed the route, which was opened by the American climbing couple Dean Potter and Stephanie Davis in March 2001, in one go: 35 hours from El Chaltén and back again.

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Credits: Cover picture Laura Tiefenthaler

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×Display 350x90_Knatsch in Magic Wood