Original Topo for The Old Smuggler’s Route


I found this while rummaging through some old papers a while back. One of the best climbs I’ve ever done. (For non-climbers, this is a road map of the route.) The Old Smuggler’s Route on the North Face of Aguja Poincenot, in Argentine Patagonia.

Old Smugglers Topo

Here’s a picture of me going up the part marked “5.9+ fingers & hands!” on the fifth pitch. The square-shaped roof block at the end of pitch 7 is pretty obvious. It’s the square shadow. Ten more pitches above that to the summit ridge. Pretty fabulous climb. One of my lifetime climbing highlights, for sure. Covered in detail in Enduring Patagonia. A whole bunch of pitches on it would be 3-star classics getting done everyday if they were on the Cookie Cliff in Yosemite. Of course, if they were, I wouldn’t have got to make their first ascent, not by a long shot.

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And then this one of the 7th pitch, labeled “Brilliant!”GC019

And then a nice one of Jim leading around the right edge of the overhang at the start of pitch 8

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And here’s The Old Smuggler himself, Jim Donini back in our high camp, after we’d got ‘er done. GC021

The route has been done at least one time since… that I know of…

Here’s stories and photos from our FA of Shaken, Not Stirred on the Mooses Tooth in Alaska’s Ruth Gorge and from our FA of A Fine Piece in Patagonia.

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