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New 5.12 in Patagonia Climbs Steep Alpine Wall

¿Qué mirás, bobo? follows a 500-metre line up the east face of Aguja Mermoz

Three experienced alpinists have established one of the most difficult rock climbs on the Patagonia peak with their new route ¿Qué mirás, bobo?, a 500-metre 5.12b.

Italian climbers Matteo Della Bordella and Leo Gheza and well-known Belgian alpinist Sean Villanueva O’Driscoll followed a line of features and crack systems up the east face of Aguja Mermoz in the Fitz Roy range.

The weather in Patagonia has been stormy with high winds, which had prevented big objectives from being climbed. But conditions improved last week, leaving this and other lines dry. Bordella, Gheza and Villanueva O’Driscoll left El Chaltén on Jan. 9 and started climbing on Jan. 10 at the start of a short weather window. They started up the Ferrari-Ceballos route before branching off left. They climbed the route in a single push and bivied on the summit. No bolts were placed.

In 2021,  Villanueva O’Driscoll made the first ascent of The Moonwalk Traverse in a bold solo push. The route is more than 5,000 metres long and was graded at 6c 50°. It follows the Fitz Traverse, which was first climbed in 2014 by Tommy Caldwell and Alex Honnold, but in reverse. The route received a Piolet d’Or.