Sean Villanueva O'Driscoll Solos Reverse Fitz Traverse
Sean Villanueva O'Driscoll has made the first repeat of the Fitzroy Traverse in Patagonia, Argentina. This enchainment of 5km of granite spires was first climbed over five days by American climbing luminaries Alex Honnold and Tommy Caldwell in 2014, for which they were awarded the Piolet d'Or in 2015. Honnold commented that he and Caldwell simuled much of the climbing and were often climbing for 15 hours per day, remarking that he was the most tired he has ever been at the conclusion of the route. Villanueva O'Driscoll completed the line solo and in reverse, self-describing the ascent as a celebration of his 40th birthday with 'Seven cakes, some with icing.'
The Belgian climber Sean Villanueva O'Driscoll is well-known for his combination of remote big wall adventures with itinerant musicianship. He took a tin whistle on this solo adventure and remarked on the 'Really good whistle acoustics on those peaks.' Despite his self-deprecating style of reportage, this enchainment is a fantastic achievement which Colin Haley described on instagram as 'The most impressive solo ascent ever done in Patagonia, and I can’t help but wonder if it isn’t simply the most impressive ascent ever done in Patagonia in general.'
Photo: courtesy of Patagonia/Instagram