60 Bolts drilled on Compressor Route in Patagonia


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Mighty Hiker

Vancouver, B.C.
Jul 22, 2010 - 01:34pm PT
Kerwin (and Will) have a good point. In some of the world, what the Red Bull people did in Patagonia is the norm. Environmental impacts, whether real (air travel, resources, abandoned gear...) or largely symbolic (bolts), aren't even on the radar. The point being that what may be tolerable in some places isn't necessarily tolerable in others - context is important. There seems to have been a lack of perspective in what happened on Cerro Torre.

Many of these developments do seem linked to commercial climbing - filming, 'professional' climbers, guides of varying levels of professionalism, riggers, developers of huts and teleferiques, etc. We all share some of the blame for that.

There's little point to getting all high and mighty about it, though. We all have high impacts, both as climbers and as citizens of developed countries. And we could all do a lot to reduce those impacts, without significant effect on our lifestyles.

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
Jul 22, 2010 - 01:43pm PT
I didn't say that Gadd's piece exculpates RB. What I said was a general statement that, I believe, includes all climbers and their entourages, anytime, anywhere.

Trad climber
Hollywood, CA
Jul 22, 2010 - 01:44pm PT
I talked to someone up in Tuolumne who knew about the situation and said that when everyone heard that they left all their crap up there (including tents, stoves, etc) that there was a mass run on it. Ropes, gear, stuff, all cleaned up and taken away (or rather bootied). Not sure if the bolts have been chopped but the other evidence has been removed.

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
Jul 22, 2010 - 01:48pm PT
The bolts have not been chopped. One would expect tents etc. to be removed. Do you leave your camping gear in the meadows?

Big Wall climber
A Token of My Extreme
Jul 22, 2010 - 01:56pm PT
really? you'd put the valley floor and compressor route on par as user experiences?

I think you're missing my point.

I didn't say that the film crew itself pissed me off, it's the 60 bolts.
So yes, if someone added 60 bolts to Tribal Rite for a film event, I'd be just as "tweaked".

you must be really tweaked about all the film crew bouldering video getting shot in the valley, then.

Have they added 60 bolts to any of the boulders they're filming?

Trad climber
Jul 22, 2010 - 03:12pm PT
I didn't say that the film crew itself pissed me off, it's the 60 bolts.
So yes, if someone added 60 bolts to Tribal Rite for a film event, I'd be just as "tweaked".

There's been a lot more than 60 bolts added to granite routes in the French and Swiss Alps. I can't speak to what's been done specifically for filming, but find Gadd's comments believable, given the stories I've heard.

I just don't see the point of pretending that a campaign to promote a Dickenson model for filming of sponsored climbers is going to be feasible for those ares in the Alps, the way it might be for Patagonia. So, yes, suggesting that climbers should get behind less intrusive film models for "sensitive" areas seems pretty sensible. If you have a better adjective, feel free to use it.

You could demand that the Fr/Swiss areas strip their bolts, fill in the Jungfraubahn tunnel, and return to a single-cameraman video tradition, but then you're just venting on the net. Nothing wrong with that, I guess, if you have the free time and find it therapeutic.

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Jul 25, 2010 - 10:51pm PT
Will Gadd's piece was instructive.

Lama is 19. A "prodigy" they say, but in what? Adventure routes, like the stuff you'd find in Patagonia? Not as chance. He's too young to have much experience in that arena. Lucky the kid didn't go get himself killed.

Per the adults: stitching this sacred peak with bolts, stringing sh#t on it bottom to top, abandoning all the junk, and then trying to pay off some locals to go clean up the mess all points to a crew vastly over-matched by a project seemingly "led" by a mere boy.

The fiction being perpetrated from the Lama camp is that they were a competent group who just made a few honest mistakes or slips in judgement. Nice try, but that's PR jive.

The facts incontrovertibly describe an incompetent group (in terms of handling that magnitude of a film project) who entirely lacked the judgement to know one way or the other the "right" mode of approach.

With a whole generation of gym-trained climber hitting middle age, I'd expect to see a lot more of this kind of thing in the near future.

Peter Haan

Trad climber
San Francisco, CA
Jul 25, 2010 - 11:39pm PT
Agreed, John. Good points.
Todd Eastman

Bellingham, WA
Jul 26, 2010 - 01:44am PT
Can a filmed event be considered "extreme" if the film crew is safe?
Jack Burns

Jul 26, 2010 - 01:46am PT
Red Bull gives you wings?

Ideeho-dee-do-dah-day boom-chicka-boom-chicka-boom
Jul 26, 2010 - 10:54am PT
David Lama, like Tony Haward of BP, just wants his life back.
Michael Kennedy

Social climber
Carbondale, Colorado
Jul 29, 2010 - 05:02am PT
David Lama speaks out.

Toker Villain

Big Wall climber
Toquerville, Utah
Jul 29, 2010 - 10:12am PT
A skilled political statement for a 19 year old. One wonders,..

Thanks Michael.

Perhaps it is only right that the Torre persists in its role as a lightning rod for unbridled ambition.

Trad climber
Somewhere halfway over the rainbow
Jul 31, 2010 - 01:17pm PT
Boycott Red Bull(shit) until they make a full public apology, renounce plans to continue the project and vow to clean up their mess.

If little David wants to slay the Alpine Golliath then let him do it on his own dime and without the circus of corporate whoring.
The Wedge

Boulder climber
Santa Rosa & Bishop, CA
Jul 31, 2010 - 02:28pm PT
I sent Red Bull a note.

Trad climber
Somewhere halfway over the rainbow
Jul 31, 2010 - 02:30pm PT
Yes I did, THREE TIMES! I got no indication that it went through. The site kept returning me to start over.
Karl Baba

Trad climber
Yosemite, Ca
Jul 31, 2010 - 02:56pm PT
So how many bolts were added to the route and how many off to the side for the film crew? It was unclear to me.

Funny though, History repeats itself with a controversy about tactics and bolts on the compressor route.



Trad climber
Somewhere halfway over the rainbow
Jul 31, 2010 - 03:58pm PT
Karl. According to Rolando, well over 50 new bolts added. Almost all of them next to natural pro and many within arm's reach of the route.

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
Jul 31, 2010 - 04:38pm PT
Whatever the reason for or the posistion of the new bolts, the fact remains that arguably the world's most beautiful mountain is sporting more unneeded, unsightly human artifacts. Arguments are made that the Compressor Route is historically significant, a lot of human history is deplorable.

Trad climber
Nov 21, 2010 - 12:18am PT
I does not surprise me, that nobody speaks another lenguage in the US, and can not read what Rolando wrote, what do you call someone that speaks 3 lengauges, polyglot, someone that speaks 2 lenguages, bilingual, someone that speaks only one lenguage....a gringo !
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