Type: Trad, Mixed, Ice, Snow, Alpine, 5000 ft, Grade V
FA: Fonrouge/Comesaña (1965)
Page Views: 2,186 total · 96/month
Shared By: SirTobyThe3rd on Mar 5, 2017
Admins: Tony Yeary, Camster (Rhymes with Hamster), Mauricio Herrera Cuadra

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A 5,000 foot mega classic that splits the West Face of Fitz Roy. Notorious for objective danger, especially in warmer temps. Rock fall and avalanche danger.

Make sure to do the route during the colder windows and do your best to avoid climbing it with other parties above you.

A long and a very serious route. Although the grade is moderate, remember Fitz Roy is not a roadside crag. The crux is being able to move fast over variable terrain. Conditions of the route will change season to season and even day to day, depending on the weather, temperature, traffic it sees and other variables.
In dry conditions the upper pitches could be 5.9, depending on the route finding. When rimed over and iced up, one could expect to pull M6 climbing above your gear, with serious consequences in case of a fall.

First three thousand feet of climbing consists of moderate snow and ice slopes up to about 65 degrees. If trying to climb the route one should be comfortable soloing or simul-climbing this terrain. If uncomfortable here, remember, the climbing above will be much more difficult.

After the first 3000 feet, you will reach the big block called Bloque Empotrado. This is where you slightly split right and do the first mixed pitch. Below it, most people rope up and pitch it out with some simul climbing mixed in. After the first mixed pitch, you do about 200 M of moderate terrain with some WI4 climbing and possibly a bit of M3-4 climbing at the hardest. Good place to simul-climb.
After that, the route follows right leaning ramps and crack systems towards the ridge line.

Close to the ridge, stay on the left side and do not cross over to the other side till you are close to the notch. After we reached the ridge we did another four pitches till we rapelled into the notch. From there, we unroped and soloed to the summit through mixed terrain which varied from hiking, to some easy ice slopes and 3-4th class scrambling. At times you may or may not need crampons up there, but we kept our crampons on.

For the best topo and route overview consult the complete guidebook to the Chaltén Massif by Rolando Garibotti & Dörte Pietron.


Approach to Piedra Negra and go over the Paso Quadrado, down to the other side and head south, up the glacier. Roping up here is not a bad idea, there are large crevasses that could be hidden. You will pass the West faces of Guilliamet, Mermoz and the North Pillar of Fitz Roy with the North Face. Skirt around the buttress and hike up the snow slope towards the West Face of Fitz Roy. Very obvious snow and ice couloir to the right of the Afanassieff. Good bivy sites could be found in the boulders.

To get down, rappell the direct Supercan route which goes down directly from the major notch. Or the Franco-Argentine for a quicker and safer option, if you did not camp at the base or are carrying your camp over.


1-2 ice screws
Single rack of cams to #3 camalot. Doubles in #0.4-0.75. Nuts from small to large and webbing to make the rap anchors a little safer. CHECK AND BOUNCE TEST THE RAP ANCHORS ON THE WAY DOWN. SOME ARE SHITTY.