Epic New Line on Fitz Roy

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Slovenians Tomaz Jakofcic and Grega Lacen scraped up a major new variation on the North Face of Fitz Roy in Patagonia, then traversed the mountain in a brutal storm. On January 27, the two started up a new line between Tehuelche and the French Northwest Ridge (aka Afanasieff Ridge), and they climbed about 2,000 feet of new terrain up to 5.11b A2. As the weather deteriorated, they worked right to join the French ridge below its crux headwall (5.9 A2), which they climbed in the dark. In the strengthening storm, the two fought toward the summit all the next day, and they finally topped out in a blizzard at 10 p.m. on their second day of climbing.

The Slovenians opted to rappel the Franco-Argentinean Route on the south side of the massive peak. During the course of what Bean Bowers called “one of the windiest, nastiest days of the season,” they safely managed the epic descent, though Jakofcic was left with a frostbitten little finger. They then traversed around Fitz Roy’s eastern flank to return to their bivy, 72 hours after leaving. Jakofcic and Lacen named the major variation Los Ultimos Dias de Paraiso and dedicated it to their friend Ozbej Povsod, who died last year.

Dates of Ascent: January 27–29

Source: Bean Bowers, Alpinist 5

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