American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

South America, Argentine-Chilean Patagonia, Fitz Roy, First Winter Ascent

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 1987

Fitz Roy, First Winter Ascent. Gabriel Ruiz, Eduardo Brenner and I made the first winter ascent of Fitz Roy, climbing it by the Supercouloir. Starting from the Piedra del Fraile, we spent the night of July 25 in a tent 100 meters below the couloir. We entered the couloir at six A.M. on July 26 and climbed unroped to save time. There was powder snow covering blue ice. At eleven A.M. we reached the famous great block some 1000 meters above the beginning of the couloir. That is where the difficult climbing begins. The first bivouac was three pitches below the towers of the ridge. To save weight, we took no sleeping bags, only bivouac sacks. The second day of climbing, July 27, we set out at six o’clock in the moonlight. There were strong winds and it was snowing. At five P.M. we got to the easy part of the ridge, but the bad weather prevented our getting to the summit until 8:30 P.M. That night we descended to the col. Because of west winds, we bivouacked on the east side. On July 28 we made 12 rappels to the block and then climbed down, reaching the tent that night. The next day we had to plow for 13 hours through deep new snow back to the Piedra del Fraile; it had taken us five on the approach. Two of us suffered frostbitten hands and one required some amputation.

Sebastián de la Cruz, Club Andino Bariloche

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