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Nico Favresse and Sean Villanueva making the first ascent of El Flechazo on Cerro Standhardt in Patagonia. The 850m route breaches difficulties up to 7b, M3, WI5+ and was climbed with two bivouacs in February 2020
Photo by Nico Favresse, Sean Villanueva
Nico Favresse making the first ascent of El Flechazo on Cerro Standhardt in Patagonia with Sean Villanueva
Photo by Nico Favresse, Sean Villanueva
Sean Villanueva resting on an inflatable portaledge during the first ascent of El Flechazo on Cerro Standhardt in Patagonia
Photo by Nico Favresse, Sean Villanueva
Nico Favresse and Sean Villanueva celebrating on the summit on Cerro Standhardt in Patagonia after having made the first ascent of making the first ascent of El Flechazo, 02/2020
Photo by Nico Favresse, Sean Villanueva

Nicolas Favresse, Sean Villanueva climb new route on Cerro Standhardt in Patagonia

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On Aguja Standhardt in Patagonia Belgian climbers Nico Favresse and Sean Villanueva O’Driscoll have made the first ascent the mixed climb El Flechazo (850m, 7b, M3, WI5+).

Matteo della Bordella had indicated it while reporting about his recent new route on Cerro Standhardt with Matteo Bernasconi and Matteo Pasquetto: on the summit the three Italians bumped into two Belgians, namely Nicolas Favresse and Sean Villanueva who had just completed a new route on the same mountain. Favresse and Villanueva climbed a new line up the southeast pillar of Aguja Standhardt starting, as Rolando Garibotti explains, to the right of Motivaciones Mixtas before crossing it and tackling the obvious steep pillar on the left. Having breached difficulties up to M3 and 7b, all climbed onsight except for one which was climbed second go, they then followed Exocet and reached the summit after two bivouacs on the face. Favresse and Villanueva are no newcomers to Patagonia having spent considerable time in particular in the Paine area, and while Villanueva had pulled off the first Belgian ascent of Cerro Torre with Stephane Hanssens in 2012, this is Favresse’s first major summit in the El Chalten area. Here’s his report, for more technical details about the ascent check out Garibotti's Pataclimb post below.


El Flechazo on Cerro Standhardt
by Nico Favresse

The season in Patagonia has been really rough out here. We’ve been spending most of our time in town bouncing between bouldering, yoga classes, jam sessions and BBQ parties. It's a tough life out here, especially the more town folks one gets to know, the more summits there are to celebrate! At least the occasional weather window puts us all back on track to a healthier lifestyle in the hope of being as strong as possible and float up our dream lines! 

During the last weather window we had a chance to climb a beautiful new line on Cerro Standhardt. We had plenty of ideas in mind but the snowy and icy conditions forced us to review our plans and look for the driest and sunniest piece of rock available. That's how we ended up choosing the line we climbed, and it turned out great! 

We spent two nights on the wall in ultralight Grade 7 equipment inflatable portaledges (thanks to Roger Schaeli who let us use his) which were absolutely amazing to have! They allowed us to have the comfort of a portaledge but without the inconvenience of its weight, bulkiness and difficulty to rig. It made the climb much more enjoyable and gave us the chance to stop climbing whenever we wanted to and enjoy the exposure from a comfortable hanging cocoon! 

For me it was the first time I stood on the top of any of the Torres! I had actually not imagined how unique it really is to stand on any of these summits! With their snow mushrooms, the immensity of the Hielo Continental glacier on one side and the majestic Fitz Roy group on the other, it really makes these mountains like no other I have climbed before. And this is where we celebrated Sean's 39th birthday, with an all-you-can-eat mushroom ice cream party!

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A few day ago @seanvillanuevaodriscoll and I stood on the top of Cerro Standhardt. It was the first I had summited any of the Torres! I had actually not imagined how unique it is to stand up there on any of these summits! With its snow mushrooms, the immensity of the hielo continental on one side and on the other side the majesty of the Fitz Roy group, it really makes these mountains like no other I have climbed and this is where we celebrated Sean's 39th birthday with a all-you-can-eat mushroom ice cream party! We have spent two nights on the wall in ultralight @grade7equipment inflatable portaledges (thanks to @rogerschaeli who let us use his) which was absolutely amazing to have! It allowed us to have the comfort of a portaledge but without the inconvenience of its weight, bulkiness and difficulty to set. It made the climb much more enjoyable with possiblity to stop climbing whenever we wanted and enjoy the exposure from a comfortable hanging cocoon! You can find on @patagoniavertical all the technical info written by the sensei of Chalten/ @rolo_garibotti ! @patagonia @patagonia_climb @arkose.climbing @scarpaspa @petzl_official @lyofood @julbo_eyewear @agripp_climbingholds @hard.bar #noplacetoofar

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