Sports & Gaming

Adversity Training: The Fitz Traverse

Alex Honnold & Tommy Caldwell

Lesson time 05:29 min

Alex and Tommy share stories of their experience climbing the Fitz Traverse, including the physical and emotional challenges they faced and how they overcame the adversity.

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Topics include: Adversity Training: The Fitz Traverse •


- Climbing definitely helps calibrate your standards for-- for hardship. - Yeah. - You know? Because climbing, you so consistently get worked by the weather. Really, you fail all the time. I mean, as a climber, you're personally faced with failure constantly, because you're always pushing yourself to the limit. It's like, you just get worked all the time. And it just kind of reminds you that the rest of life is pretty good, you know? It's like, you have food, there's a bathroom nearby. How comfortable is that? Like, that's great. You know? It's like, normal life is pretty chill. - Yeah. Totally. Yeah, I think it's like good adversity training. - You can just point it out on your jacket. Because you're like, this is the Fits Traverse. - The Fitz Traverse is Patagonia logo. I would say the Fitz Traverse is one of the more iconic, like, jagged ridge lines in the world that's one of the more dramatic line up of peaks in the world. It's right on the border of Argentina and Chile. And it's one of these, like, great objectives that people had been thinking about for a really long time. In the world of climbing, these objectives come into the consciousness of climbers. They're like, this is something that somebody needs to climb and it's within the realm of possibility. Like a last great challenge because plenty of people have tried it and not done it. CLIMBER 1: And we thought that we probably had most of the skills we needed to at least give it a good shot. I mean, we knew that we were showing up there with a good background for that kind of challenge. We're like, let's just see what happens. - Although, I think when we went on that trip, neither-- neither of us really thought that we were, like, the team that was the best suited to do it. We hoped maybe it was the case. - The North face has been pretty plastered with snow. CLIMBER 1: I just can't get over, like, how gnarly it looks here. CLIMBER 1: The Fitz Traverse was very much outside of my comfort zone, though I didn't really know it at the time. Because I actually had done several big ridge traverses in the Sierra Nevada in the mountains. And so I had some sense of scrambling on granite and climbing granite big walls. So I was like, oh, how different can it be in Patagonia? CLIMBER 2: We are snow climbers. CLIMBER 1: As it turns out, it's quite a bit different, because the weather is so much more extreme and the peaks are so much bigger and there's ice and rime ice all over a lot of the climbing. And the conditions that we did it in were particularly icy, because it had been sort of a heavy winter and there hadn't been very much good weather yet that summer. Anyway, it all wound up being a lot more mega than I expected. CLIMBER 2: Yeah. CLIMBER 1: How was that pitch? - My hands bleeding, my jacket's full of holes. CLIMBER 2: Yeah, I mean, there were, like, a few kind of like, hairy moments on the clim...

About the Instructor

With more than 60 combined years of elite rock climbing experience, Alex Honnold and Tommy Caldwell have scaled some of the largest—and most extreme—walls in the world. Now, the stars of Free Solo and The Dawn Wall are teaming up to share their tried-and-true techniques for tackling any wall. From the fundamentals of footwork and body and hand positioning to mental exercises and advanced holds and movements, you’ll learn how to take on new challenges and push yourself further on and off the wall.

Featured MasterClass Instructor

Alex Honnold & Tommy Caldwell

Stars of “Free Solo” and “The Dawn Wall” Alex Honnold and Tommy Caldwell teach lessons from more than 60 years of combined rock climbing experience.

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