My expedition to Patagonia this year didn’t go exactly to plan. I had already put time into this range, establishing one new route and two first free ascents during the 2008 season with Will Stanhope. This year I was hoping to build on that success and establish another long rock freeclimb. I brought along the two best team mates I could think of for the job - the talented Americans Jon Gleason and Matt Segal.
I was confident, given a decent weather window, we could achieve our goal. The problem was it had been snowing continually for the past month and a half we were here and the mountains were coated in snow and rime ice. Wearing rock shoes up there was certainly out of the question. Matt went home and Jon wanted nothing to do with the ice and mixed routes that were now in condition.
I was fit and moral was high from all the bouldering in town. Truly a world-class destination for blocs alone, the best problems are all V8 and harder on large, proud boulders. Hunger for the mountains was eating away at me, and I knew that it must be sedated if I wanted to cling to my sanity. Luckily, young Coloradan hotshot Hayden Kennedy felt the same way. We teamed up, intent on climbing the biggest route we thought was possible in current conditions: the Supercanaleta (WI4 5.10 M5, 1600m) on Cerro Fitz Roy. After an attempt that ended in failure just below the summit, Hayden extended his plane ticket and we went back for one more go. With great relief we topped out the massive route in 11 hours and finished the notoriously tricky decent with only one rope before dark.
Thanks to Five Ten® for support of the trip. I consider the V-Mile to be the finest cold weather freeclimbing shoe on the market, blending the perfect amounts of comfort and performance together. I only wish conditions cooperated enough this trip to be able to use them, as we have tested them up to hard 5.12 in the mountains so far! For a while now I have decided trail running shoes are the best choice for carrying a pack into the mountains. The Runaway is the perfect choice for rugged long-distance approaches with moderate loads. Thanks for making it right, Five Ten!
For the whole story, including other ascents I completed during the expedition, please visit JasonKruk.net