09.May 2012

Robert Jasper successful on „Shark’s Fin“; first ascent at the end of the world.

Robert Jasper successful on „Shark’s Fin“; first ascent at the end of the world.

Right in between the Strait of Magellan and Cape Horn there is a spectacular peak which resists the endless storms: Monte Giordano alias‚ Shark's Fin’. Mountaineers and alpinists rarely come here and it is because of the constantly bad weather why this mountain had not been climbed before. It is so bad that the peak can hardly be seen throughout the year.

In April, 2012 mountaineers Robert Jasper, mountain guide Jörn Heller and photographer Ralf Gantzhorn made the first ascent of Shark‘s Fin. The climb was one part of a 6-week expedition-adventure which began with the journey on a sailing vessel from Puerto of William - the most southern town of the world. Their experienced Chilenien Skipper Osvaldo Escobar needed three weeks to bring them to their starting point.

Weather and wind made the team stop on a tiny, lonesome island until the the hurricane passed by and they could risk the second part of the expedition. The bay they wanted to use as starting point for their way to basecamp turned out to be too dangerous to anchor in. Finally they used ropes to tie the boat to a secure cliff face to prevent it from being hit by the heavy storms.

The way to the mountain led them through subpolar rainforests, deep marshland and rugged glaciers. Their first attempt on Shark‘s Fin failed. Jörn Heller broke a rib which left him with hard breathing for the rest of the trip. Also their planned basecamp right on the foot of the mountain could not be established because of the heavy, permanent storms.

When the barometer finally climbed only three days before the planned departure the team went for the final attempt. It was their speed that turned out key to be the to success. Shortly after midnight on the 7th April in brigh moonlight they reached the summit. After 27 hours the team reached the boat safely.

The peak is indeed so unknown that maps differ in the published heights and contradicting names. Because of the spectacular shape which reminded the team of a shark‘s fin Robert Jasper, Jörn Heller and Ralf Gantzhorn named it exactly this way. Their GPS gave them a summit-altitude of 1517 m, 500 meters less than the Chilean maps.

After the first ascent of Ironman, one of the most difficult mixed climbs of the world, the first ascent of Shark‘s Fin was the second great success for Robert Jasper in 2012.


Mountain: Chilean sea map: Monte Buckland, 2040m; Map of the Tierra del Fuego pioneer Alberto M. de Agostini from 1959: Monte Giordano, 2042m; height according to GPS: 1517 m
Coordinates: S 54°27`11s, W 070°12`11s

First ascent: Robert Jasper, Jörn Heller, Ralf Gantzhorn; 6th–7th April 2012; 12 hours to summit; roundtrip back to boat in 27 hours.

Route: „Shark's Fin Ridge“ (west ridge), M7

Area: Cordillera Darwin, Tierra del Fuego / Chile.

Character: extremely demanding ridge climbing; extremely bad weather conditions have to be expected.

Words: Malte Roeper

After 14 hours: World class peak performance at the North face of the Eiger

The professional alpine climbers Robert Jasper (D) and Roger Schaeli (CH) succeed in the first free ascent of the Ghili – Piola Direttissima.

Germany/Switzerland: August 2nd, 2013, 6:00 p.m., Robert...