Rolando Garibotti

When I was seven years old my family moved to the town of Bariloche, in northern Patagonia, having been driven there by the troubles that beset Argentina in the 1970s. It was lucky for me because that area is a paradise of sorts, South America's answer to Switzerland as far as the scenery goes. Piste skiing lead to backcountry skiing and that in turn led to climbing, an activity that immediately felt worth pursuing.

There weren't many role models in Argentina at the time and many aspects of the sport were for us to invent. Visiting climbers proved crucial. We were so eager to learn, we were like sponges. The general ignorance about alpinism played in our favor because we were allowed great freedom. At age 15 I traveled for the first time to the “real” Patagonia, climbing Aguja Guillaumet, the smallest granite tower of the massif with a partner that was barely one year older. That climb remains one of the biggest adventures of my life. There were so many unknowns then.

Later climbing drove me to the mountains of the world. I started traveling in 1989, when I turned 18 and have not stopped since. I have lived for extended periods of time in three different continents.These days I split my time between the Alps and Patagonia, living half of the year in each hemisphere.

Climbing has been the vehicle that has provided a sense of purpose in life. That passion has shifted and changed over the years, but contact with the natural environment has continued to be the one thing that gives me a degree of satisfaction.


Highlights

Yosemite. 

  • El Capitan - The Shield, in 18:20hs - record at the time (1994). 
  • El Capitan - Triple Direct, in 8:20hs - record at the time (1994).  
  • El Capitan - Aquarian Wall, in 29hs - record at the time (1994).  
  • El Capitan - Sunkist, in 26hs - record at the time (1993).
  • El Capitan - Salathe Wall, in 9:01hs (1994).
  • El Capitan - Nose, in 5:48hs (1994).

Canada/Alaska. 

  • First and fastest link-up of three of Canada's best-know waterfalls: Polar Circus, Weeping Wall/Weeping Pillar and Slipstream, in 15:15hs car to car, involving 1700m of climbing to WI6 (2002). 
  • Mount Foraker (5500m), The Infinite Spur, 5th ascent and fastest ascent, in 25hs (2001)

Wyoming
Grand Teton (4300m), The Grand Traverse, traversing ten summits with 4000m of vertical gain (to 5+) in 6:49hs, a record that still stands totay (2000).  

Patagonia

  • Cerro Torre - El Arca de los Vientos, new route, first ascent of the peak from the north (2005).
  • Cerro Torre - Torre Traverse (Aguja Standhardt, Punta Herron, Torre Egger and Cerro Torre), first ascent (2008).
  • Cerro Torre - Two more ascents of the peak.
  • Cerro Fitz Roy - Tehuelche, first complete ascent of the route and of the north face, in alpine style in two days (1996).
  • Cerro Fitz Roy - Slovak Route, first repeat and first alpine style ascent, in 30hs (1999).
  • Cerro Fitz Roy - Mate, Porro y Todo lo Demás, first ascent, in 10 hs. Cerro Fitz Roy - Care Bear Traverse (Aguja Guillaumet, Aguja Mermoz, Cerro Fitz Roy), 2nd and 4th ascents (in 2008 and 2010).
  • Cerro Fitz Roy - Five more ascents of Cerro Fitz Roy (between 1996 and 2012).
  • Aguja Guillaumet, first solo ascent (1/1988).
  • Aguja Saint Exupery, second solo ascent (1997).
  • Aguja Mermoz, second solo ascent (2001). 
  • Two ascents of Torre Egger and two of Punta Herron.
  • Five ascents of Aguja Standhardt (between 1994 and 2008).
  • Cerro Paine Grande, second ascent, new route (2002).
  • Cerro Mariano Moreno, first solo ascent (9/2001). 
  • Cerro Murallón, second confirmed ascent (2003). 

Dolomites
Marmolada - Tempi Moderni, winter ascent (2001). - Atraverso il Pesce, winter ascent (2001). 

Awards
Refused nominations to the Piolet d'Or in 2006 and 2009, objecting how pointless it is to compare apples with oranges. Received the title of Cavaliere della Repubblica from the Italian government in 2009. 

Work
Worked as a mountain guide since 1996, in USA, Alaska, Canada, Africa, Antarctica, Vietnam, Patagonia, the Alps, etc. Between 1992 and 1999 worked as a rigger for film commercials and documentaries.

Has published photographs and or articles in magazines, newspapers and catalogs around the world, from Le Monde, National Geographic, The Observer, Gazetta dello Sport, Outside, La Stampa to a slew of mountaineering magazines from over 15 countries. In 2012 with Dörte Pietron published Patagonia Vertical, the first guidebook to the Cerro Fitz Roy and Cerro Torre Massif. 

 
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