Interview : Sean Villanueva on his solo reverse Fitz traverse

Sean Villanueva blew away the mountaineering world by completing the first solo south to north traverse of the Fitz Roy massif, setting off without warning from the 5th to the 10th February 2021. We got to interview the most musical of climbers by telephone from his base in El Chalten, Patagonia.

Leaving to solo the Fitz Roy Traverse – no one was expecting that…

Sean Villanueva : Yes, I didn’t tell anyone, otherwise they would have thought I was mad !

In the shadow of Fitz Roy ©Sean Villanueva

We know that you’re passionate about Patagonia, but at little less for soloing. Is this a new thing ?

 S.V. : I had been wanting to do a solo climb for a while. I get a lot of inspiration from Silvia Vidal’s climbs, her philosophy, her approach to the mountain and spending long periods of time on the wall. I wanted to be up there with just myself. I have so many amazing climbing partners that it wasn’t easy to leave on my own! Joking aside, I could have found someone, but I really wanted to spend time up there all alone.

I had been wanting to do a solo climb for a while

So why now ?

S.V. : I’ve been stuck in Patagonia since the 10th of January 2020. Nico [Favresse] managed to leave before the pandemic, but I wasn’t able to leave and all the flights got cancelled. I could have gotten back with help