Showing posts with label Fitz Roy. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Fitz Roy. Show all posts

Spanish Climber to Attempt Repeat of Fitz Roy Crossing Solo

Back in February of 2014, climbers Tommy Caldwell and Alex Honnold completed what many thought was an impossible climb by linking up Cerro Fitz Roy and its surrounding peaks in southern Patagonia. The route was dubbed the "Fitz Traverse" at is involves climbing Aguja Guillaumet, Aguja Mermoz, Cerro Fitz Roy, Aguja Poincenot, Aguja Rafael Juarez, Aguja Saint-Exupery and Aguja de l'S, all in one go. This once-Holy Grail of rock climbing hasn't been repeated since, but a Spanish climber is about to give it a go.

Last week, Pedro Cifuentes set out for Patagonia, where he hopes to make the same climb as Caldwell and Honnold in solo fashion. Going in alpine style, and completely alone, Cifuentes estimates it will take him about 40-50 days to finish the traverse, which is considerably longer than his predecessors, who finished it in just 5 days. But, having a partner makes a huge difference, and the Spaniard admits he isn't up to climbing at the same level of speed that the two Americans can achieve. Instead, he'll look to be self-sufficient and travel in alpine style, carrying a 90kg (198 pound) pack with him filled with his supplies, food, and gear.

In total, the distance he'll travel will be a mere 5 km (3.1 miles), but it will also involve 4000 meters (13,123 ft) of rough vertical climbing to overcome. That climbing is where Cifuentes will slow down, as doing every pitch by himself will be time consuming and demanding.

This won't be Pedro's first go around with a significant rock climbing challenge. In 2013 he become the first person to solo all three Towers of Paine in succession in Patagonia as well. That expedition took 29 days to wrap up. Later that year, he also attempted a solo climb on Nameless Tower in Pakistan, but was forced to retreat due to incredibly poor conditions.

Cifuentes admits that his solo attempt on the Fitz Traverse is a long-shot, but he enjoys the challenge and hopes that his skill, planning, and determination will help get him through. He says, "I'm not looking for summits, but for experiences. It is not my first expedition, nor will it be the last. I do it for me, to enjoy, for the experiences, for what you see, for what you learn .... it is very difficult to convey what it means to face alone an escalation like this ... every second is very intense, thousands spend Of things, you're out of the world ... The top is fine ... but it's not what I'm looking for. If so, there are easier ways to get it. "

Pedro is on his way to the start of the climb now and should get started shortly. Hopefully he'll reach his goals in the mountains of Patagonia, but if not, perhaps he'll at least get the experiences he's looking for.

Video: A Line Across The Sky - Climbing in Patagonia with Alex Honnold and Tommy Caldwell

We have another outstanding climbing video today, in a setting that is amongst the very best in the entire world. This short film takes us to Patagonia with Tommy Caldwell and Alex Honnold, as they attempt to complete the first Fitz Traverse - a four-mile (6.4 km) long trek that includes 13,000 feet (3962 meter) of vertical gain that crosses Cerro Fitz Roy and its six satellite peaks. A perfect weather window gave Tommy and Alex the opportunity to complete this project, which took five days to wrap up. The expedition will be fully documented in an up coming movie from Sender Films, but this video gives us our first glimpse at what they faced, and overcame, on this incredibly tough route.

Avalanches Claim The Lives of Adventurers in South America

There was more sad news from the mountains yesterday, when it was revealed that freeskiers JP Auclair and Andreas Fransson were killed in an avalanche in Chile, while climber Liz Daley was caught in a separate avalanche on the Fitz Roy Massif in Argentina, and lost her life too.

Auclair and Fransson were skiing Mount San Lorenzo, a 12,159-foot (3706 meter) peak that falls along the border of Chile and Argentina in the Patagonia region, on Monday when they were caught up in the avalanche that claimed their lives. The two men, both well known in the freeskiing community, were there to make a ski film of their adventure. Outside reports that their deaths were confirmed yesterday when a helicopter flew over the mountain searching for them, but spotted their bodies high on the mountain instead.

Not long after the news of the passing of Auclair and Fransson, reports of Daley's accident surfaced as well. She was a professional climber and snowboarder sponsored by Eddie Bauer, who was in Argentina as part of a production crew shooting a snowboarding/skiing film as well. Liz was part of a team descending from Cerro Vespignani, a 7000-foot (2133 meter) peak that is found near Fitz Roy. The avalanche struck the team, but all other members of the group survived with minor injuries.

It has been a rough week in the mountains to say the least. The news of these deaths due to avalanche follows the loss of Sebastian Haag and Andrea Zambaldi on Shishapangma last week. These three separate incidences are a good reminder of just how dangerous our outdoor pursuits can be at times. It is sad to see so many talented and young adventurers lose their lives in such a short period of time.

My condolences go out to the friends and family of those who were killed in these tragic accidents.