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Whitney Clark and Nicole Lawton’s Big Patagonia Link-Up

The two climbed nearly 2,000 metres of often splitter granite up two semi-popular alpine rock climbs

Patagonia was the scene of a lot of historical ascents and accidents this past austral summer. One of the most impressive pushes was by Whitney Clark and Nicole Lawton who climbed around 2,000 metres of rock in one go.

In late February, they climbed the 900-metre Thaw is not Houlding Wright, a 5.10d on Aguja de l’S first climbed by Leo Houlding, Kevin Thaw and and Cedar Wright in 2004; and linked it with the 750-metre Chiaro di Luna, a 5.10+ on Aguja Saint-Exupéry.

After the big push, Clark said the “almost 2,000 m of (nearly) perfect granite, some rather plush alpine bivvies and those dreamy windless days that made this an adventure I’ll never forget.”

Chiaro di Luna rose to popularity in 2015 after Brette Harrington made the first free-solo, after which she told Gripped, “My excitement elevated as I passed my second crux, an exposed traverse step into a small finger crack. I paused to take in the beauty of such a route and appreciate the style in which I was climbing it by free-solo.”

Clark and Lawton are just one of the several all-women teams who repeated big routes in Patagonia this season. Cerro Chalten’s (Fitz Roy) Northwest Ridge, the Afanassieff, was climbed by four teams of strong alpinists. In January, Ramona Volken and Anne Flechsig climbed it, followed by Laura Tiefenthaler and Babsi Vigl. Then in February, Fanny Schmutz, Lise Billon and Camille Marot topped it out, followed by Rocio Voumard and Delfi Fainguersch.

If you’re looking for some inspiring alpinists to follow, below are the Instagram accounts of those who have them for those named above.