|Linea di Eleganza, the route first climbed by Elio Orlandi, Horacio Codò and Luca Fava in February 2004 on Fitz Roy, has been repeated for the first time and freed in one single push by the Americans Tommy Caldwell, Topher Donahue and Erik Roed.This beautiful route, which received a nomination for the Piolet d'Or 2004, takes a direct line up the NE Face and was originally graded ED+ 6c/A3 90°/M7 by the first ascentionists. The American team has now put forward the grade 5.12+ (7c) for a free ascent.
As climbing.com reports, the three departed at 11.00am on 22 February and reached the summit at 3.00pm the next day. Caldwell and Donahue alternated the majority of the leads in blocks of 4 or 5 pitches, Roed led the finishing pitches to the summit, and the seconds jumared the pitches. On the first day the trio overcame two 5.12 pitches, a 5.12b corner and some overhanging cracks which they graded 5.12+. Donahue attempted to onsight the crux pitch but fell. He descended to the belay and pulled the ropes, and Caldwell then freed the pitch. They proceeded slowly throughout the night, but Donahue managed to overcome a third difficult section, an iced crack which he climbed with the use of an ice axe he hauled up halfway up the pitch. After climbing off-route they abseiled 1.5 pitches to a ledge and sat out dawn. At first light they climbed easier ground to the summit where they met two other Americans who indicated the abseils down the Franco-Argentine route.
LINEA DI ELEGANZA
NE Face Chaltèn - Fitz Roy (3441m), Patagonia, Argentina
F.A.: 7 February 2004 - Elio Orlandi - Horacio Codò - Luca Fava
Length: 1350m circa + 100m 60° snow ramp at the base (1450 m).
Grade: ED+ 6c/A3 90°/M7 (the route was climbed in difficult conditions with snow and ice lining the cracks. Comment of the first ascentionists: We believe the route can be climbed free in good conditions.
F.F.A.: Tommy Caldwell, Topher Donahue and Erik Roed 02/2006, 5.12+