Which of these engaged you the most?
The most difficult technically was Gemini, which made for a fairly challenging start. Especially doing it in the dark, at 3:30 in the morning, right after coffee.
The most complex to manage was without a doubt Imago, the last one. A technical route, begun after a great effort. I was climbing with swollen feet, a headlamp, and a brain that was tired from so many hours on the wall. Twenty hours, to be exact. It was a great relief when Carlos Molina, my climbing partner, offered to climb the last two pitches.
You mentioned the significant organizational work behind the project. What was the greatest complication?
Coordinating schedules. Carlos was very busy with his work, so he couldn’t go with me when I went to attempt the routes I didn’t know yet.
I was worried that my partner wasn’t sufficiently motivated and enthusiastic about this experience, and I wasn’t sure that I would be able to pass on my enthusiasm and my knowledge of the routes to him. What can I say now? I couldn’t have wished for a better partner: his skill on the wall and his commitment were the reason for our success.
What was the greatest difficulty on the wall itself?
Definitely rappelling, which is dangerous, as a rule. It’s easy to do, but it’s also easy to make a fatal mistake. While rappelling from Las Aguas del Inferno I felt very tired, and on the last rappel we had to get by a large snowfield compromised by the summer heat. A crevasse had formed that required concentration and time to be managed safely. This was certainly one of the most complex moments of the whole project.
A project like this requires perfect conditions...
The conditions are crucial for this type of project. We were very lucky. Usually in the summer it’s too hot, while in the fall the days are very short. We had a cloudy and windy day — exactly what we were hoping for!
What was it like to be able to complete the project?
We got back to the car at 5:30 a.m., 27 hours after we started climbing. It was a beautiful sunrise and I felt happy, but also tired and drained. It took me more than a week to recover fully. Wenden is now an indelible memory, a lasting mark that brings a smile to my face every time I find myself looking at the wall. Every now and then it makes me want to laugh at myself too, because if the mountain were conscious it couldn’t help but think of the pointless and absurd effort that this project required of me ... but I would do it again.