One of the pioneers in the free climbing revolution in the US in the late 1970’s, establishing the now classics Kansas City and Gravity’s Rainbow, both 5.12 D, in the Shanwangunks, John Bragg was also one of the leaders of the ice climbing revolution in New Hampshire in the late 70’s establishimg such modern testpieces as the Black Dike and Repentance.
Bragg then took these new rock and ice techniques and standards to the Fitzroy area of Patagonia, where, in 1976, he was part of a team of three that did the first ascent of Torre Egger. That terrifying satellite of Cerro Torre is now considered by many to be one of the hardest summits in the world.
The next year he led another team of three on the second ascent of Cerro Torre’s West Face –the scond overall ascent, first American, and first alpine style ascent of the mountain.
He has returned to the Fitzroy area twice in the ensuing years, making two attempts to solo the Super Couloir on Cerro Fitzroy. In 2003 he led an exploration of an area on the eastern edge of the Patagonian Icecap near Logo O’Higgins where he and Jim Donini made several attempts to climb the unclimbed Cerro Kruger.
In 2006, he led his seventh expedition to Patagonia to an unexplored area near Puerto Murta, Chile. There, the team made explorations and an attempt on an unclimbed peak they named The Fortress.