Fitz Roy’s Casarotto All-Free


The Casarotto Route climbs the prominent pillar on the right skyline. Photo by Chris Turiano

Fitz Roy’s Casarotto All-Free

Bean Bowers and Josh Wharton free-climbed the Casarotto Route on Fitz Roy in Argentinean Patagonia in 16 hours from the bergschrund to the summit. This was likely the first complete free ascent of the 1,200-meter route on Fitz Roy’s Goretta (Northeast) Pillar, as well as the first one-day ascent. The crux was face climbing past an icy crack high on the route. The two Americans rappelled the route and returned to their high camp after about 25 hours on the go. Italian Renato Casarotto established the route solo in 1979.

Bowers and Wharton, along with several other parties, had hoped to complete the first free ascent of Fitz Roy’s Royal Flush on the east face, but poor conditions defeated a couple of attempts as high as the 23rd pitch.

The day after his descent from the Casarotto with Wharton, Bowers was joined by Helen Motter, a seasonal climbing ranger in the Tetons, and the next day the two climbed the mountain’s Franco-Argentinean Route in about 14 hours, with Motter leading the first five pitches and making Fitz Roy her very first Patagonian summit.Comment on this story