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    The One Move I Couldn’t Do


    Patagonia Climbing ambassador Nico Favresse headed to Baffin last year with fellow ambassador Sean Villanueva O'Driscoll to see what they could see - maybe climb a few things. They returned with killer images and a sack full of first ascents and notable repeats of huge granite lines in a landscape seldom visited and even more rarely climbed (original post here).

    As a follow-up to the trip, Nico dropped this nugget in our inbox - an account of his attempts to free one of the more rugged climbs: The Belgarian (5.13 A1, 850m) on the west face of Mount Asgard’s South Tower. The climb was completed in 11 days, big wall style, with one aid move. Our palms are already sweaty after checking out this trailer for their movie, "Asgard Jamming." Nico's essay gives us a better idea of the wrestling match that went into that one move standing between him and freeing the route. Read on for the report and pick up a copy of the full film online at www.nicolasfavresse.com or www.xpedition.be

    Here's Nico
    ____________________________

    I have been blocked here already for at least one hour, hanging on the very tip of the sharp end at more than 600 meters from the glacier. I am looking for any weakness of the rock. Maybe it will go here, and if not maybe I can lower and join another crack system by traversing on the face. Here where I am it’s hard, that’s for sure! But my instinct tells me there is something; a possibility is hiding behind these microscopic crimps. I analyze the sequence, imagine a solution and here I am going for it again. My fingers crimp with all its strength and I throw myself again at it hoping to have some kind of new sensation… GGGRRRRR!! I dyno, I see the hold, it’s getting closer then… It’s going away again, I fall... the nut holds.

    Continue reading "The One Move I Couldn’t Do" »

    Big Wall Free Climbing on Baffin Island

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    Patagonia Rock Climbing Ambassadors Nicolas Favresse and Sean Villanueva O'Driscoll recently returned from a month of superlative success on Baffin Island's numerous remote and wild granite walls. We were thrilled to receive Nico's letter (below) and have been spending no small amount of time ogling all of the outstanding photos they brought home. We can't bear to sit on this meaty news any longer but need to beg your pardon - it's a bit more medium-rare than we typically like to serve up (read: captions are lean on details). We'll get those updated shortly. Until then, here's Nico: 
    Sean Villanueva, Stephane Hanssens, Olivier Favresse and I Just came back from an expedition in Baffin Island. We had an awesome trip! Free climbing in Baffin is amazing and the potential for free climbing and first ascents seems endless. Our main target was to climb around Mount Asgard (in Inuit, Sivanitirutinguak), which is one of the craziest looking mountains I have ever seen. It consists of two cylindrical towers with super steep and long walls all around. (hit the jump for more story and loads of amazing pictures)
    [Sean Villanueva O'Driscoll practicing what his fellow Pataognia Climbing Ambassdor Nicolas Favresse calls "his best skill," in the heart of the high lonesome. Photo: Stephanne Hanssens]

    Continue reading "Big Wall Free Climbing on Baffin Island" »

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