Wednesday, February 03, 2016

Alex Honnold and Colin Haley Set New Speed Record on the Torre Traverse in Patagonia

It has been a good couple of weeks in Patagonia for Colin Haley. Not only did he set a speed record on Fitz Roy, completing a round-trip ascent of that mountain with Andy Wyatt in just 21 hours and 8 minutes, he also put up the first solo ascent of Torre Egger as well. That would be enough accomplishments for anyone's career climbing resume,  let alone just one month. But he wasn't finished just yet, as Haley was later joined by his friend Alex Honnold to set yet another speed record, this time finishing the Torre Traverse in an incredible 20 hours and 40 minutes.

What's the Torre Traverse you ask? Only one of the toughest challenges in all of climbing. In this case, it involved a north-to-south traverse of Patagonia’s Cerro Standhardt, Punta Herron, Torre Egger, and Cerro Torre in a single push. Those peaks are pretty much a collection of the toughest and most well known rock climbing walls in the region, with each being a considerable challenge on its own. Linking them up adds a new dimension to that challenge. So much so that it has only been done once before. That was back in 2008 when Haley made the same climb with Rolando Garibotti, spending three days on the attempt.

The Traverse has been a project in the works in Patagonia for decades, with some of the top climbers first envisioning it way back in the 1980's. At that point, one of the peaks – Punta Herron – hadn't even been climbed as of yet. Over the years there were a number of attempts to put all the routes together that were necessary to make the traverse, but it took until 2008 for it to all come together. It hadn't been repeated since, until Monday, when Haley and Honnold did it, and in a very impressive time.

According to National Geographic, the two climbers went camp-to-camp in 32 hours, with heir record time representing their actual time climbing. Considering the challenges that the Traverse presents, and the skill sets and climbing knowledge that Alex and Colin bring to the table, it seems likely that this record will stand for awhile.

Find out more details of the climb in Nat Geo's article here.

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