Aguja Rafael, Artibelleza, first free ascent. Patagonia is always a crapshoot. Windy Patagonia ended up having a spell of great weather this season. Within 10 days of leaving Denver, John Dickey and I climbed on Aguja Rafael via the Anglo-American (1974) route to the top of the west buttress. We went down from there due to lack of clothing and questionable weather. Two days later Zack Smith and I climbed Chiaro Di Luna (750m, 6c) on Aguja Saint Exupery. Great route, definitely a Patagonia classic—awesome crack climbing. We couldn’t believe the weather still held. Two days later John Dickey and I climbed again, on Aguja Rafael. We did the first free ascent of Artibelleza, all the way to the top (400m, 6c). Great climbing. We descended the same route. We ended up having about a week of stable weather this year.
Josh Gross, Moab, UT