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Jim Reynolds Free-Solos Up and Down Fitz Roy in Patagonia

Jim Reynolds, 25, has made history on the famous Patagonian peak Fitz Roy, climbing up and down the Afanassieff route solo. Reynolds made headlines in 2017 with his speed record on The Nose with Brad Gobright, which was bested last year by Tommy Caldwell and Alex Honnold.

This was Reynolds’ first trip to Patagonia and he made a number of free solo ascents. His Fitz Roy solo took just six hours and 38 minutes with the round-trip taking only 15.5 hours. He forgot his harness and belay device, but brought a rope. The first ascent of the 1,600-metre route was in 1979 by Guy Abert, Jean and Michel Afanassieff and Jean Fabre over six days.

Rolando Garibotti told National Geographic, “It is mind blowing that this came to pass. Jim is making a big statement here. We’re going to be speaking about this for a long, long time. I have a hard time imagining how somebody is going to up the ante over this.”

Even soloing is not done alone. Huge appreciation to all the people who have been a part of my journey recently and over the years. Much love for the communities of El Chaltén, Yosemite, Bishop and Trinity. Check out the link in my bio to read Nat Geo’s excellent article. ****************** My suggestion is to strive for two things in this world: The creation and propagation of the highest level of art, beauty and love that you can imagine, and to support others in their pursuit of those things. ******************* My art (as for many climbers) is the combining of our humanity with the splendor of raw nature. It is to dance through a painting. I don’t think climbing has to be selfish. It is a way to fill my cup of joy til it overflows into the rest of the world. It is gathering as much positivity as we can from the mountains and bringing it back to share amongst the people. So whatever your thing, go out there and do it!!!!!!!!!!!! **************** Photos are mine or Tad McCrea, who has been a hugely impactful teacher and great friend in my time down south #beingtowardslife #climbing #patagonia #Fitzroy #rockclimbing # Alpinism #alpineclimbing #freesolo #love #sincuerda #Argentina

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Dean Potter is the only other climber to have free-soloed Fitz Roy when he climbed Supercanaleta in 2002, but he rappelled the descent. “I think what is so special about [Reynolds’s ascent] is the ethical purity of it,” Garibotti told National Geographic. “You could technically argue that this is the first free ascent of Fitz Roy.”

The late Marc-Andre Leclerc was the most recent climber to turn heads in the climbing community with bold solos in Patagonia. In February 2015, he soloed Cerro Torre’s The Corkscrew linkup 5.10d A1 90 degrees, 1,300m, a circumnavigation of the Patagonian spire. Garibotti said Leclerc’s ascent was one of “earth-shifting proportions, by far the hardest route ever soloed on Cerro Torre and only the seventh solo overall.”

Later that year, in October 2015, Leclerc made another important solo ascent of Aguja Standhardt via a combination of the Tomahawk and Excocet routes. Then on Sept, 17, 2016, Leclerc made the first winter solo of Torre Egger, linking into Titanic 5.10a A2 WI4, 1,100m, on its upper half. He returned with Austin Siadak to re-create the solo for a film, in the process freeing the integral Titanic 5.12b M5 WI4.

While in Patagonia, Reynolds also free soloed the West Face 5.10c of Rafael Juarez and Chiara di Luna 5.11a on Saint-Exupéry. He down-climbed both peaks via different routes.