Two Women Create 2,000m Link in Late-Season ‘Romp’ in Patagonia

Whitney Clark and Nicole Lawton spent the latter part of February stringing together big-wall lines and scrambling up Patagonian granite. Reportedly, the two women climbers not only ticked the 900m Thaw is not Houlding Wright, 6b on Aguja de l’S, they linked it to the 750m Chiaro di Luna, 6b+ on Aguja Saint-Exupéry.

Clark said the linkup and adjoining scramble provide “almost 2,000m of (nearly) perfect granite, some rather plush alpine bivvies and those dreamy windless days that made this an adventure I’ll never forget.”

Photo: Damian Llabres for 'Patagonia Vertical' Guidebook

The near-2,000m-long Clark/Lawton linkup in Patagonia. Photo: Damian Llabres for ‘Patagonia Vertical’ Guidebook


The link was part of a longer climbing trip that began in early February and consisted of sketchy alpine adventures and a bailed summit attempt on Patagonia’s fabled El Chalten.

Aguja de l’S and Aguja Saint-Exupéry reside in the El Chalten (or Fitz Roy) Group. Thaw is not Houlding Wright and Chiaro di Luna are on the north face of both peaks, respectively.

Photo: Whitney Clark, Nicole Lawton patagonia link up

Photo: Whitney Clark, Nicole Lawton

Jilli grew up in the rural southern Colorado mountains, later moving to Texas for college. After seven years in corporate consulting, she was introduced to sport climbing. In 2020, Jilli left her corporate position to pursue an outdoor-oriented life. She now works as a contributor, an editor, and a gear tester for ExplorersWeb and various other outlets within the AllGear network. She is based out of Austin, Texas where she takes up residence with her climbing gear and one-eared blue heeler, George Michael.

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