Cerro San Valentin North Ridge climbed in Patagonia by Oriol Baro, Martín Elías, Nicolas Tapia

Climbing alpine style from 4 – 8 December 2023, Oriol Baro, Martín Elías and Nicolas Tapia completed the first ascent of ‘Arista Norte’ (WI5, M5 3000m), a ‘dream line’ up the North Ridge of Cerro San Valentin (4058m) in Patagonia.

Over an intense 5-day period at the start of December Oriol Baro, Martín Elías and Nicolas Tapia completed the coveted North ridge of Cerro San Valentin in Patagonia. The 3000m ridge was a line many had dreamt about in recent years, and leads past difficulties in the region of WI5, M5 to the 4058m main summit.

Accompanied by Felipe Romero and Richi Mansilla, the trio spent two days crossing the Grosse glacier to approach the mountain. Initially they climbed 1000m up the west face to reach the ridge where they bivouacked at 2800m, while the next day they followed the ridge first to North Summit, then the main summit.

The party descended by abseiling down the line of ascent and this was not without incident; during the descent, Baro fell and injured his ankle. After a further bivouac they finished the descent, and once back on the Grosse Glacier Baro was evacuated by helicopter. Elias and Tapia completed the long descent to the car unaided. On his return to civilisation Elias summed up the experience as “Very good mountaineering with complex logistics and many objective dangers that make this ascent a very complex challenge.”

By Muhammad Hussain