Patagonia Precedent: Two Young Climbers Face Fitz

Can the elusive Fitz Roy Traverse finally be tamed by a pair of kids with no business even trying?
Honnold and Caldwell assess their gear.
By Steve Root

Why climb? Because they’re there.

That’s right, they. As in, multiple peaks. Seven to be precise, which is way more than one.

We’re referring to Patagonia’s Fitz Roy Traverse, a climber’s fabled paradise and hell, all rolled into one jagged strand of ice-caked sheer-granite citadels, some reaching nearly a mile high. It has taunted alpinists since the birth of climbing, daring someone — anyone — to take them all on in a single push. To date, precisely no one has.

Patagonia's famed Fitz Roy skyline.

Enter the aspirants of “Reel Rock: A Line Across the Sky”: Elite rock-jock Tommy Caldwell and his partner in climb, Alex Honnold, who aim to be the first.

Now, if you were expecting grizzled, experienced veterans with digits and lobes long ago forsaken to frostbite, we wouldn’t blame you. But scrawny, peach-fuzzed goofballs who joke and josh as much as they grunt and groan about the daunting task at hand? Well, now there’s a twist.

Because make no mistake: This is a serious undertaking which, done wrong, could land one at the undertaker’s.

Get an eyeful of their adventure in this gallery, then watch the whole epic two-part show:

read more about
Next Story