We left on January 7th and arrived in El Chalten the next day. In my team, Denny Zampiccoli and Giampaolo Calzà. On our arrival, the weather conditions were not great, however a (short) window of good weather and little wind was expected for 12th and 13th January. Prepared our luggage, we left on January 10th with bad weather to the Circle of Los Altares, through the Marconi Pass, with the idea of being ready to climb the west side of Cerro Torre, as soon as the short window had appeared. The window "arrived", unfortunately too short to allow us to climb. Anyway, we came back satisfied because we have nevertheless made a nice tour in a beautiful place, covering part of Hielo Sur. Also we had the chance to check the ground for the next attempt.
On January 16, with Giampaolo, we set off for the Passo Superiore, with the aim of climbing Fitz Roy for the "Franco Argentina". With us also Edoardo Albrighi, Jacopo Zezza and Daniel Ladurner, with whom we will share the ascent. The information on the conditions of the route were very contrasting: all we have left is to go there and see.
At 11:30 pm on January 17th we reached the summit, really exciting! We prepared a shelter with a wall of stones and, pulled out the thermal sheets, we spent the short night waiting for dawn to go down, accompanied by the "Patagonian breeze".
During our descent in the days before Fitz Roy, we met a group of Brazilians and one of Czechs who were going up our own way and along the Via Francesca. We learnt on January 21st that the first ones have never returned, while, of the second group, only one Czech alpinist has returned, whilst the other is dead, frostbitten.
We then joined the voluntary rescue group of El Chalten, coordinated by Carolina Codò with the intent of trying to climb and locate the missing guys. A group of 19 people is formed. At 22:00 we left while the bad weather was still raging.
With me Luca Schiera, Edoardo Albrighi, Jacopo Zezza followed by Giampaolo Calzà, Paolo Marazzi, Denis Urubko, two Spanish climbers and two Argentinians, who, as mules, allowed us a "light" climb to the Passo Superiore. The third group that brought the drone will not arrive because of an accident happened to a Spanish mountaineer, resolved with "only" some fracture but forcing them to return. Arrived at the Passo Superiore, in the middle of the storm, we installed the camp, tents and truna, and we slipped into the sleeping bags, waiting for wind and snow to settle. After a few hours, four of us climbed again with the wind and snow, ready to take advantage of the short window to rise again and plumb the wall, scourged by three days of bad weather; we beat the track with new snow to the knee, but we had to return in the evening, due to the expected arrival of a new wave of adverse weather and strong wind.
The thought goes to those who have not returned, a great disappointment. In each case we are enriched by another experience that has brought out the great humanity that is within each of us, a great union has been created.