Photo by Oscar Manguy.
On March 21, 2019, NOLS grad Jim Reynolds completed an unprecedented free solo climb up—and down—Cerro Fitz Roy, an iconic Patagonian peak. A Wilderness EMT and member of Yosemite Search and Rescue, Reynolds ascended without ropes or safety equipment, then made the unusual decision to climb back down in the same fashion.
“An American rock climber from California has pulled off one of the most creative and cutting-edge free solos in Patagonia, Argentina, in which he not only climbed up a technical 5,000-foot rock climb on 11,171-foot Cerro Fitz Roy without the safety of a rope or gear—but he also down climbed the route without any artificial assistance.
The catch? His name isn’t Alex Honnold.
Meet Jim Reynolds. He’s a 25-year-old climber hailing from Weaverville, California. He works on the Yosemite Search and Rescue (YOSAR) team in the summer, wears rectangular frameless glasses, plays renditions of Slayer on a mandolin, and considers mental training to be wielding a wooden samurai katana in the sun-dappled light of a ponderosa forest behind the YOSAR campsite.”
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