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Fitzroy Traverse repeated (Read 2713 times)

shark

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Fitzroy Traverse repeated
February 12, 2021, 09:53:42 am
From Colin Haley’s Facebook page

I’m sure that soon there will be a much more informative post from @patagoniavertical, and eventually stories from the legend himself, but I couldn’t help but share this news: @seanvillanuevaodriscoll has just made the 2nd ascent of the Fitz Traverse (and the 1st ascent of the Reverse Fitz Traverse)... solo! There is no doubt that this is the most impressive solo ascent ever done in Patagonia, and I can’t help but wonder if it isn’t simply the most impressive ascent ever done in Patagonia in general. I guess that many climbs are so different in nature that it is hard to compare. But, in any case, as someone who has soloed all these peaks (separately), and as someone who generally is very familiar with the terrain, it is hard to even imagine the logistics of getting across all that terrain solo. As someone who has done a lot of my proudest achievements in Patagonia, many of them solo ascents, I could be at risk of feeling jealous. However, overwhelmingly I feel happy for Sean, rather than jealous. I think that is partly because I got to know Sean a bit down there last season, and he’s simply an awesome person. I think that another reason I don’t feel jealous is that, unlike some other high-profile solo ascents of recent years in Chaltén, I know that I simply couldn’t have done what Sean just did. Congratulations, Sean, on a truly incredible achievement! I’m still trying to wrap my head around it...

Ged

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#1 Re: Fitzroy Traverse repeated
February 12, 2021, 09:56:53 am
Jeez.  How does one keep it together for long enough to solo that much hard terrain?  I assume some of it must have been rope soloed, which is even more impressive in some ways given the logistics and general rope jiggery pokery involved.

What an achievement.  Interesting that he did it in reverse.

jwi

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#2 Re: Fitzroy Traverse repeated
February 12, 2021, 10:01:32 am
That's very impressive

Johnny Brown

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#3 Re: Fitzroy Traverse repeated
February 12, 2021, 10:20:08 am
Fuck yes, what a legend!

Sean and Nico stayed with me for a week about ten years ago, lovely people. Honnold has also been round for a brew so feeling a bit snubbed by Tommy right now.

Ged

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#4 Re: Fitzroy Traverse repeated
February 12, 2021, 10:20:40 am
Apparently he took a rope, a tin whistle and some birthday cake. 

Bonjoy

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#5 Re: Fitzroy Traverse repeated
February 12, 2021, 11:46:48 am
Apparently he took a rope, a tin whistle and some birthday cake. 
Pretty random kit choice. I'd have been more impressed if he'd gone for the classic Gascoigne though - fishing rod, some chicken, and four cans of lager.

Nibile

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#6 Re: Fitzroy Traverse repeated
February 12, 2021, 12:25:42 pm
Fuck yes, what a legend!

Sean and Nico stayed with me for a week about ten years ago, lovely people. Honnold has also been round for a brew so feeling a bit snubbed by Tommy right now.
Chris Sharma is here with me cooking lunch, and he says hi.

tomtom

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#7 Re: Fitzroy Traverse repeated
February 12, 2021, 12:48:59 pm
Apparently he took a rope, a tin whistle and some birthday cake.

I get the cake - but why did he take a rope and a tin whistle round to JB’s?

Johnny Brown

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#8 Re: Fitzroy Traverse repeated
February 12, 2021, 01:18:56 pm
The rope was mine that he'd borrowed. The tin whistle was for a folky jam, obvs.

Can we have some more deets on the climb of the century please? Have to say it looks like a more logical direction unless the North Pillar is the only good bit.

Will Hunt

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#9 Re: Fitzroy Traverse repeated
February 12, 2021, 02:03:21 pm
From Colin Haley’s Facebook page
...@seanvillanuevaodriscoll has just made the 2nd ascent of the Fitz Traverse (and the 1st ascent of the Reverse Fitz Traverse)... solo!

I read this as him having done the Fitzroy Traverse and then later done the reverse. I take it that's not the case and he's just done the reverse (punter)?

T_B

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#10 Re: Fitzroy Traverse repeated
February 12, 2021, 02:06:35 pm
Yeah it’s like Broomgroove, you get 7b for there and back.

Anti

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#11 Re: Fitzroy Traverse repeated
February 12, 2021, 02:11:49 pm
Woa some people are hard as nails. Not many of them come across as such nice guys though! Cool news.

Will Hunt

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#12 Re: Fitzroy Traverse repeated
February 12, 2021, 02:13:37 pm
I'm disappointed now. I'd initially thought he'd done it the original way and then decided it wasn't hard enough/he'd left his car keys at the start and done the reverse.

Johnny Brown

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#13 Re: Fitzroy Traverse repeated
February 14, 2021, 12:14:14 pm
Some detail now out via Pg’s social media.

Rope soloed anything technical. Which is hella fast considering.

No info on how he rigged so many abs though - caring enough gear to leave seems to me the biggest logistical problem. Maybe there is so much tat in the range now he could rely on that, can believe it for the North pillar but a lot of the rest seems less frequented.

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#14 Re: Fitzroy Traverse repeated
February 14, 2021, 01:05:43 pm
Some detail now out via Pg’s social media.

Rope soloed anything technical. Which is hella fast considering.

No info on how he rigged so many abs though - caring enough gear to leave seems to me the biggest logistical problem. Maybe there is so much tat in the range now he could rely on that, can believe it for the North pillar but a lot of the rest seems less frequented.

I was gonna post something breaking down some of the sections... "Poincenot fairly steady in that direction, possible to free solo a bunch of it..." etc but to be honest the whole thing is pretty mind blowing. I can almost imagine doing 1 of the spires but thats assuming perfect weather and carrying f all bivvy gear, ice gear etc and ignoring all the other spires, the connecting ridges, 1000m of abbing, carrying all the bivvi and food, dealing with the wind and weather worries, stuck ropes... + having to keep your head together for multiple days of hard, dangerous climbing and for sure some minor epics of some sort.

Wad

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#15 Re: Fitzroy Traverse repeated
February 14, 2021, 04:12:21 pm
Quote
1000m of abbing

Got to be more like 2500? The Goretta is 950 on its own.

And like you say a tent and ten days of food before you start thinking about the rack you'll need to steadily abandon.

Ru

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#16 Re: Fitzroy Traverse repeated
February 14, 2021, 05:35:17 pm
And like you say a tent and ten days of food before you start thinking about the rack you'll need to steadily abandon.

I'd love to know the logistics of how he did it, especially with all the talk of him just taking a rope, whistle and birthday cake. Incredible ascent.

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#17 Re: Fitzroy Traverse repeated
February 14, 2021, 05:59:00 pm
I think I read on one of the write ups that he’s been in Patagonia since Feb ‘20, so potentially had the chance to get the logistics pretty wired, but putting it all together is totally mind blowing.

The film of Honnold and Caldwell’s ascent ‘Line Across the Sky’ is on the website of the caffeinated drinks company everybody loves to hate, for anyone who hasn’t seen it. One of my favourite climbing films of any genre in the last few years.

jwi

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#18 Re: Fitzroy Traverse repeated
February 14, 2021, 06:03:05 pm
Copy paste of what Rolando (?) wrote on patagoniavertical's insta:

Quote
Between the 5th and the 10th of February, Seán Villanueva O'Driscoll completed the “reverse” Fitz Traverse solo, a traverse he christened “The Moonwalk Traverse”. Reality seems to have this way of always surpassing imagination. This is how the unimaginable came to pass.

Seán approached the Fitz Roy chain from the southeast, via Laguna Sucia, sleeping at the cave near the edge of the glacier.

On the 5th he started to climb, carrying a small haulbag and a pack, with ten days of food, a small tent, a light sleeping bag, and of course, a tin-whistle. He used a 60m lead line and a thin haul line. The forecast predicted six and a half days of good weather. He self-belayed and hauled on all but the easier pitches, and climbed everything free (+4000m, 6c 50˚).

He started by climbing Ag. De l’S via the “Cara Este” route, linking into the “Austríaca” on Ag. Saint-Exupéry. While on this climb, rockfall resulted in three core-shots to his lead-line. A devastating hit so early in such a long traverse, but after taping the damage, he decided to continue. His first bivy was on the ridge leading to Ag. Rafael Juárez.

On day two, while traversing towards Rafael, his harness gear loop broke, and he lost a few Camalots. With a damaged rope and less Camalots things were not looking up, but curiosity egged him on. He climbed the upper part of the “Anglo-Americana”, and descended the “Piola-Anker” to reach the base of the south face of Ag. Poincenot. This he climbed via the “Fonrouge-Rosasco”, bivying near the junction with the “Whillans-Cochrane”.

On day three, which was the day of his 40th birthday, he climbed to the summit of Poincenot, and rappelled north via “Invisible Line”. From the col, he tackled Ag. Kakito, climbing a few new pitches to reach the summit from the east. He then descended and traversed to La Brecha arriving soon after midday. Although it was early, he decided to take the rest of the day off.

On day four, the 8th, he tackled Cerro Fitz Roy, climbing the “Franco-Argentine” link-up. The scariest moments of the entire traverse came after the “end of he difficulties”, negotiating the summit ice-fields while wearing approach shoes and aluminum crampons. Descending north, down the “Casarotto”, high winds and a waterfall made him stop early again, two pitches above the Goretta Pillar. His rope was in bad condition, and getting it wet did not seem like a wise idea.

On the morning of the 9th he rappelled to the Bloque Empotrado, climbed Ag. Val Biois, and did the long traverse to Ag. Mermoz. This section proved harder and more time consuming than he expected, but he still managed to reach the summit of Mermoz to bivy there.

On his sixth day on the climb, the 10th, he rapelled [sic] the upper “Argentina”, and climbed the “Lüthi-Dominguez” to the south summit of Guillaumet, to then traverse to the main summit. He was unsure which route to descend, but upon seeing rock fall wipe out the “Amy”, he decided for the “Brenner-Moschioni”, reaching Paso Guillaumet around 2 or 3PM. On the last rapel, one of the core-shots on his rope finally gave way, exposing several meters. A rope badly damaged on day one, had miraculously survived to the end.

Hiking down towards Piedra del Fraile, but wanting to soak in the experience he had just lived, he decided to stop at Piedra Blanca. A grand voyage of this magnitude deserved a pause before returning to civilization.

Seán seems to be the only person that does not grasp the magnitude of what he has accomplished, and ascent that Colin Haley described as possibly the most demanding solo ascent ever done in the area. Beyond his well-know climbing skill and physical fortitude, what is clear is that Seán's secret weapon was his mental attitude, his willingness to always take one more step, and to do so with open curiosity. He played his tin-whistle in every summit, and meditated for close to 15' every morning. A climb this long and hard requires physical mastery, but above all it requires the ability to pause.

To go with the photo topo here:

https://www.instagram.com/p/CLQZZGHjqIc/

Will Hunt

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#19 Re: Fitzroy Traverse repeated
February 14, 2021, 09:08:21 pm
I'd very much like to know what tunes he played.

SA Chris

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#20 Re: Fitzroy Traverse repeated
February 15, 2021, 08:45:22 am
I think I read on one of the write ups that he’s been in Patagonia since Feb ‘20, so potentially had the chance to get the logistics pretty wired, but putting it all together is totally mind blowing.

The film of Honnold and Caldwell’s ascent ‘Line Across the Sky’ is on the website of the caffeinated drinks company everybody loves to hate, for anyone who hasn’t seen it. One of my favourite climbing films of any genre in the last few years.

It's pretty incredible, agree. Not least of all the toll it took on their kit, ropes etc.be hard to have to carry the "minimum" wrt hardware on your own.

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#21 Re: Fitzroy Traverse repeated
February 15, 2021, 07:50:16 pm
There’s a nice little interview with Sean Villanueva O’Driscoll on the Rock and Ice website.

https://rockandice.com/climbing-news/interview-sean-villanueva-odriscoll-on-the-solo-first-ascent-of-the-moonwalk-i-e-the-reverse-fitz-traverse/


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#22 Re: Fitzroy Traverse repeated
February 15, 2021, 08:34:37 pm
There’s a nice little interview with Sean Villanueva O’Driscoll on the Rock and Ice website.

https://rockandice.com/climbing-news/interview-sean-villanueva-odriscoll-on-the-solo-first-ascent-of-the-moonwalk-i-e-the-reverse-fitz-traverse/

Quote
Previously I had climbed Saint-Exupéry, Poincenot, Fitz-Roy, Mermoz and Guillaumet, all by other routes.

So he basically onsighted the whole thing :jaw:

Tony S

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#23 Re: Fitzroy Traverse repeated
February 16, 2021, 08:51:10 am
Tbh, onsight/repeat on most of that ground wouldn't make a lot of difference. Having been up some of the key peaks and having a good overview understanding of the, literal, lie of the land would be v helpful.

It's the ability to keep going for 10 very tiring days on almost constant technical (but never desperate) ground that is impressive. Like Rolo wrote, it's the mental strength and adaptability bit that's the most impressive.

duncan

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#24 Re: Fitzroy Traverse repeated
February 16, 2021, 08:47:56 pm


 

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