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Belgian Climber Dies While Soloing Fitz Roy


by Editor

February 06, 2002

Camp4 - Climbing News Archive

The hectic 2002 Patagonian climbing season claims the life of Belgian climber Frank Van Herreweghe while soloing Fitz Roy.

He was an passionate and assiduous of the Patagonian geography, a corner - his corner - although Frank Van Herreweghe was from Belgium, the heart of old Europe, he felt at home on a continent on the other side of the world. Frank was a climber tied to the highway, but with an inescapable destiny: Patagonia , a land he loved and where he had found its people.

Perhaps for that reason, he was specially motivated to solo Fitz Roy, one of the emblematic tops of Patagonia. He was physically and mentally tough, and certainly he was not being "tablas"(he had certainly a lot of experience). His recent ascent of Santgraït in the Turnweather (A4 in Baffin with Sílvia Vidal), ascents in the Alps, Yosemite, Banff (Canada) and, of course, Patagonia (especially his ascent of the Hill Tower in 1997), amply demonstrated his preparation for climbing different styles(big wall, snow, ice, etc). On the Fitz Roy, he choose the California Route which was technically reasonable for a fast and light ascent, and was probably going to later rappel the Franco-Argentina. An American team had the last visual reference of Frank just a few pitches from the top of the route.

His disappearance has supposed a very bitter drink in El Chaltén (Argentine Patagonia), where Frank was very dear. Perhaps the best consolation, if there is some possible one, is that he rests in his real house, a universe of glaciers and granite needles that was his passion and where he had wanted to be forever.

News courtesy of Desnivel

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