American climbers Alex Honnold & Tommy Caldwell got together for an overly ambitious first ascent climb in Argentine Patagonia last week. Their plan: perform a complete traverse of the Cerro Fitzroy Massif or Fitz Traverse. This traverse involves climbing 7 peaks in a single push along the Cerro Fitz Roy ridge-line. This traverse has been referred to as “the mother of all traverses.”
“This ridge-line involves climbing Aguja Guillaumet, Aguja Mermoz, Cerro Fitz Roy, Aguja Poincenot, Aguja Rafael Juárez, Aguja Saint-Exúpery and Aguja de l’S.” – Rolando Garibotti, professional climber told Rock & Ice
The numbers on this climb are daunting:
The Fitz Traverse =
– 3 miles of climbing
– 13,000 vertical feet
– Free climbing up to 5.11d
– Some aid climbing (C1)
– Long 65-degree slopes
– Lots of ice and wet rock
The two Americans reportedly climbed much of the terrain simultaneously which means that they climbed it unroped. They had to move fast to stay safe and take advantage of their weather window. The weather in Patagonia is notoriously bad.
Honnold and Caldwell completed the climb in just 4 days. They started at 9:45am on February 12th and finished at 10am on Feburary 16th.
They reportedly used rock shoes only for Pilar Goretta. The rest of the climb was done in their approach shoes. Those are good approach shoes…
Tommy Caldwell has spent a lot of time in Patagonia and has completed many impressive first ascents there. This was Alex Honnold’s first ever trip to Patagonia.