Long considered foolhardy to attempt, Argentina’s Fitz Traverse has stoked the imaginations of climbers around the world for decades. Tracing the iconic skyline of Cerro Fitz Roy and its six satellite peaks, it spans four miles and 13,000 feet across snow and ice-covered rock, with epic route finding and endless rapelling. Seizing their chance during a rare extended weather window, Patagonia ambassador Tommy Caldwell and and North Face ambassador Alex Honnold went big. The pair completed the first ascent in a five-day push during February 2014. Check the trailer of the upcoming film from Big Up and Sender Films:
Moment of Belief – by Tommy Caldwell.
We live in an age when most of the world’s biggest mountains have been climbed. So climbers today get creative and find new ways to push themselves. Some of us get lucky and encounter a moment when technology and skill collide. The right weather materializes, the right partners. The vision for a route emerges, along with the belief that it can be climbed.
The idea to traverse the Cerro Fitz Roy skyline — one of the most dramatic in the world — was not a new one. A much-discussed objective since the ’90s, Colin Haley called it the “low-hanging fruit” of Patagonian climbing. Seven glorious summits and a ridgeline so dramatic, Yvon Chouinard used it as part of his company’s logo. Ever since my first trip to the region in 2006, the Chaltén Massif had been etched in my mind and, for me, the traverse of the ridgeline was the most obvious and intriguing possibility in the range. My wife and I even named our son Fitz after the range’s central mountain, Fitz Roy. Pieces of this huge link-up were already in place, and each winter season I expected news of a successful ascent.
I’d tossed out the idea of the traverse to Alex Honnold, not fully believing that we had the collective experience to pull it off, but we decided to give it a try. In early February 2014, the skies cleared and the forecast showed five days of high pressure and low winds. Forty-eight hours was the longest period of good weather I’d seen in my three seasons in Patagonia. I knew we had to go big.
Alex and I began our attempt on the traverse on February 12th at 9:45 a.m. We brought almost nothing: A sleeping bag, a down jacket, a small rack of cams and minimal food. Everything fit into two small packs. Battling ice, snow and water on the route, we simulclimbed almost everything. We hoped our rope would last. Daytime brought deep blue skies; at night, sharp brilliant stars seemed within our grasp, and moonlight bathed everything in hues of black, white and grey…
Full film release details here.
Reblogged from Patagonia.