Interview: Sean Villanueva O’Driscoll on the Solo First Ascent of “The Moonwalk,” a.k.a. the Reverse Fitz Traverse


After six days of climbing in which he navigated a five-kilometer gendarme-filled ridge-line and tagged every major summit (and some more minor ones) along the way—requiring over 4,000 meters of technical climbing—Sean Villanueva O’Driscoll was still ready for more.

“I would have kept going if there was more,” Villanueva O’Driscoll told Rock and Ice about his first ascent of The Moonwalk, a full traverse of the iconic Fitz Roy skyline in Patagonia, Argentina. The Fitz Traverse was first completed by Tommy Caldwell and Alex Honnold in 2014. They began their traverse on Guillaumet and finished on Aguja de l’S.

From February 5 to 10, Villanueva O’Driscoll climbed the same ridge line in the reverse direction. He began on Auja de l’S, and went on to summit another nine named summits on the ridge line (in order): Saint-Exupery, Rafael Juarez, Poincenot, Kakito, Cerro Fitz Roy, Val Biois, Mermoz, Cumbre Sur, Guillaumet. He freed the entire thing (aside from rappels), encountering difficulties up to 6c (5.11b).

The Moonwalk Traverse, first ascent by Sean Villanueva O’Driscoll. Photo and topo: Rolando Garibotti / Patagonia Vertical.

Source and read the full interview on

Main image: Sean Villanueva O’Driscoll during his first ascent of The Moonwalk, i.e. the Reverse Fitz Traverse. Photo: Sean Villanueva O’Driscoll.

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