Return to Fitzroy 2008
by John Bragg
I’ve had a thing about Cero Fitzroy for a long time. Even back in the 70’s when I did the first ascent of Torre Egger, and the second ascent of Cerro Torre nearby, my eye was always drawn to Fitzroy.
I’ve tried to climb it twice , once in 1978 again in 2001. Both times solo. Well, maybe I’m finally getting smart. This time I’ve got a secret weapon – a great partner! Brenton Reagan, fellow Marmot Rep and Exum Mountain Guide (and young hotshot!).
We’re off February 19th. It’s a little late in the season, but our work as Marmot Reps had to come first! There’s been some great weather down there this year. Let’s hope the trend continues.
Our goal is the Northwest Ridge, a route done first by a French Expedition led by Jean Afanasieff. It’s one of the longest routes on Fitzroy with some 6,000 feet of climbing on beautiful Patagonian granite. As far as I can tell, the route’s been climbed three times. It won’t be a first ascent or historically significant if we get up it, but it’ll mean something to me after all these years and should be a great adventure and a whole lotta fun. We plan on climbing light and fast, and we have some great new gear to test: ultralight bivy sacks, packs, new lightweight shell gear and softshells.
This will be my eighth trip to the Patagonian region and I learn something new each time. What it will be this time, who knows? We’ll be updating this log as often as we can so you can follow along with our adventures and find out.