Become a Member

Get access to more than 30 brands, premium video, exclusive content, events, mapping, and more.

Already have an account? Sign In

Become a Member

Get access to more than 30 brands, premium video, exclusive content, events, mapping, and more.

Already have an account? Sign In

Brands

Destinations

WAR IN PATAGONIA!

RYAN NELSON AND CRYSTAL DAVIS-ROBBINS, both of Colorado, established a 3,300-foot new route on the unclimbed south face of La Aguja de L'S (7,660 feet...

Lock Icon

Become a member to unlock this story and receive other great perks.

Already have an Outside Account? Sign in

Outside+ Logo

All-Access
Intro Offer
$3.99 / month*

  • A $500 value with 25+ benefits including:
  • Access to all member-only content on all 17 publications in the Outside network like Rock and Ice, Climbing, Outside, Backpacker, Trail Runner and more
  • Annual subscription to Climbing magazine.
  • Annual gear guides for climbing, camping, skiing, cycling, and more
  • Gaia GPS Premium with hundreds of maps and global trail recommendations, a $39.99 value
  • Outside Learn, our new online education hub loaded with more than 2,000 videos across 450 lessons including 6 Weeks to Stronger Fingers and Strength Training for Injury Prevention
  • Premium access to Outside TV and 1,000+ hours of exclusive shows
  • Annual subscription to Outside magazine
Join Outside+

*Outside memberships are billed annually. Print subscriptions available to U.S. residents only. You may cancel your membership at anytime, but no refunds will be issued for payments already made. Upon cancellation, you will have access to your membership through the end of your paid year. More Details

Written by Andrew Bisharat

RYAN NELSON AND CRYSTAL DAVIS-ROBBINS, both of Colorado, established a 3,300-foot new route on the unclimbed south face of La Aguja de L’S (7,660 feet), in the Fitz Roy range, Patagonia. They took 35 hours to establish The Art of War (V 5.12a A2), on the peak’s west side.

I just went down to Patagonia by myself, says Nelson, and luckily met up with Crystal, and she just happened to need a partner.

La Aguja de L’S is small from its east side, and can be climbed in four pitches. From the west side, however, the peak drops down over 3,000 feet to the glacier.

p.036-Breaking-News.160

La Aguja de L’S boasts one of the steepest walls in the Fitz Roy Range, Patagonia.

The south face rises above you like a big wave, Nelson explains. The upper headwall is overhanging on every pitch.
Nelson and Davis-Robbins began their route a day late in the weather window, on February 11. The climbing began on a vertical buttress, which Nelson all but freed at 5.12a, except for one thin corner of A2. The route then kicks back, and the duo
traversed over to get beneath the imposing south face headwall.

Davis-Robbins began up the headwall, firing a burly offwidth at 5.12a. In the midst of surfing the giant headwall, the climbers were overcome by darkness. A storm blew in, and both were soaked. Rapping the overhanging face was nearly out of the question, so they continued upward, freeing and aiding their way to the top. They reached the summit in the early morning, and tried rapping the north ridge, battling high winds.
Crystal and I were literally lifted into the air and slammed down on our anchors, says Nelson. The duo walked into camp 35 hours after leaving, hungry and happy as little clams, says Nelson. This was his first climbing experience in Patagonia, while Davis-Robbins has climbed the North Pillar of Fitz Roy and made two other first ascents in the area. Nelson said Davis-Robbins thought this was her burliest Patagonia climb yet.
Crystal is a badass, says Nelson. She already is, and will continue to be, one of the most influential female climbers in Patagonia.
If this headline made you think you were going to read about the ethical war over Cerro Torre, and the resulting fisticuffs, you’ll just have to wait for the in-depth exclusive in our next issue!