Cerro Torre, A Mountain Consecrated - The Resurrection of th

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rolo

climber
Topic Author's Original Post - Jan 19, 2012 - 05:49pm PT
Since the title of the earlier thread regarding this ascent was wrong I figured it would be best to start a new one.

Here are the facts:
 Hayden Kennedy and Jason Kruk made a very fast ascent (13 hours from the Col of Patience to the top) of the SE ridge of Cerro Torre on what for sometime we have been calling "fair means" style, which implies not using Maestri's insane bolt ladders. We presume they used some of Maestri's belays but in pitches only clipped 5 bolts, four placed by Ermanno Salvaterra on his 1999 variation and one placed by Chris Geisler on his and Jason's variations last season.
 They followed an identical line to the one climbed by Chris and Jason last year, making a pendulum left in Chris's last pitch, to connect a number of discontinuous features over three short pitches to reach the top (5.11+ and A2) .
 During the descent they chopped a good portion of the Compressor route, including the entire headwall and one of the pitches below. The Compressor route is no more.

I have already expressed what I think about chopping the bolts a number of times, including in a 2007 Rock and Ice article reprinted here:
http://www.pataclimb.com/knowledge/articles/CTbolts.html

A quote from that article:
When asked about the Compressor Route, the legendary Slovene climber Silvo Karo, responsible for two new routes and one major link up on Cerro Torre, responded, “That climb was stolen from the future. Without all those bolts the history of that marvelous mountain would have been very different. I am convinced that in alpinism how you have climbed is more important than what you have climbed, and I have no doubt that the best are those that leave the least amount of stuff behind.” Surprisingly, Maestri agreed with the last part of Karo’s statement. In his 2000 Metri della Nostra Vita, Maestri recounts that, before making the first rappel from the high point of his attempt (he stopped 100 feet below the summit) he decided to, “take out all the bolts and leave the climb as clean as we found it. I’ll break them all.” After chopping 20 bolts, and in the face of the magnitude of the enterprise, Maestri changed his mind. Mario Conti, responsible in 1974 for what is now known to be the first ascent of the Cerro Torre, agrees, writing in the 2006 book Enigma Cerro Torre, “Only by taking out the bolts one can imagine the mountain as it was, as it should still be.”

Now the mountain is much closer to being, in Conti's words, "as it was, and it should be".

I am impressed beyond words by Jason and Hayden's incredible ascent, and will be forever in-debt and grateful to them for taking this game-changing leap. The future of alpinism is bright when we have such young and brilliant "heroes".

Yesterday evening, walking out of the Cerro Torre valley for the hundredth and some time, I turned around many times to look up at a mountain, an incredibly beautiful peak, one that I could finally see as it truly is.
Johnny K.

climber
Jan 19, 2012 - 05:50pm PT
Amazing,Much respect.Congratulations the spectacular ascent in 13 hours,damn,and the clean up of Maestri's mierda.
Gene

climber
Jan 19, 2012 - 05:51pm PT
During the descent they chopped a good portion of the Compressor route, including the entire headwall and one of the pitches below. The Compressor route is no more.


Wow!!! Thanks for the report. It looks like not all of your text made it though.

EDIT: Is that damn compressor still up there?
Ghost

climber
A long way from where I started
Jan 19, 2012 - 05:52pm PT
Whoo hoo!

Well done.
Mighty Hiker

climber
Vancouver, B.C.
Jan 19, 2012 - 06:15pm PT
Rolo's title is perhaps derived from Ken Wilson's famous article in Mountain 23 - "Cerro Torre: A Mountain Desecreated".

It must have been a lot of work, removing all those bolts, even if they were 40 years old.

Congratulations to Jason and Hayden for an impressive climb! The removal of the bolts is sure to cause controversy, but so it goes. It sounds like the route taken was similar to that used by Haston, Crew et al in 1968 (the first attempt on the ridge), to their high point, and perhaps not far from what they would've taken to the top, had they not dropped their bolt kit.
Clyde

Mountain climber
Boulder
Jan 19, 2012 - 06:20pm PT
Thanks Rolo.

Bonus style points for the chopping! Good job youth.
Brian

climber
California
Jan 19, 2012 - 06:34pm PT
Bravo! Well done.
bmacd

Mountain climber
100% Canadian
Jan 19, 2012 - 06:53pm PT
Major Bonus points for chopping bolts on the descent, totally awesome Jason !
Brandon-

climber
The Granite State.
Jan 19, 2012 - 07:01pm PT
A bold ascent, and an equally bold descent.

That's awesome, hats off.
squishy

Mountain climber
Jan 19, 2012 - 07:11pm PT
I guess the beta needs to be changed eh?

Pro. A via ferrata kit, whichever you like best. Any brand will work. Since Maestri has already drilled plenty of “courage” into the rock you can leave yours at home.
http://pataclimb.com/climbingareas/chalten/torregroup/torre/SEridge.html
'Pass the Pitons' Pete

Big Wall climber
like Ontario, Canada, eh?
Jan 19, 2012 - 07:15pm PT
Hmmmm, lots to think about here.

Great job on the ascent and the climb, that's for sure. Well done, lads.

Now, what about chopping the bolts? I have never approved of Maestri's attempt. I hate bolts, incidentally. I have never placed a bolt on lead or rappel in my life, nor any chicken rivets or the like. I once added a rivet on a route when I ripped the only flake you could hook, and there was no other way to repeat the route without a cheat stick.

I have, however, removed a lot of bolts, and replaced a lot of bolts, mostly at belays, along with a few rivets mid-pitch. When we're repairing routes on El Cap, we take a tuning fork to a bolt, carefully pry it out of the rock along with its hanger, and then either drill the hole out from quarter-inch to three-eights and refill it with a 3/8" bolt, or else fill the hole with epoxy, rendering it pretty much invisible. You have this luxury when you are climbing in a pair of shorts, you see.

It's different in the mountains, of course, it's a hostile environment and you don't have as much time. Were Maestri's bolts just chopped off with a chisel? Do we have any before and after photos? And I'm knott criticizing, I'm merely asking. I have seen some damned ugly chopped bolts. As per buddy's question below, if you "chop" a bolt with a chisel, the bolt remains in the hole, and you are left with an unsightly hunk of metal. Now on a sunny crag, it might be unsightly. On a frozen wasteland like Cerro Torre, it might well be invisible. So just askin'....

So what will the "Regular Route" up Cerro Torre now be? How much harder is it than the Compressor Route? How many ascents has the Compressor Route received, and on average, how many per season?

Cheers, eh?
Randisi

Boulder climber
Dalian, Liaoning
Jan 19, 2012 - 07:16pm PT
Did they fill in the bolt holes?
norm larson

climber
wilson, wyoming
Jan 19, 2012 - 07:22pm PT
Thanks Rolo for that concise update. Well done to Hayden and Jason. It's a long time coming. It's interesting to conjecture what the story of the Torre would have been if Maestri had never put those bolts in. I'm sure someone would have found a cleaner way up the SE ridge many years ago if they hadn't been there..they defiantely turned it into the "line of least resistance".
rolo

climber
Topic Author's Reply - Jan 19, 2012 - 07:29pm PT
in response to Pete's questions, the bolts are "preassure pins" of sorts, a sort of glorified rivet. When you hit them from the top with a hammer the whole bolt comes out like butter. Three to seven blows is enough.

No they did not fill the holes. Eventually it would be a good thing to do.

as far as to what the "normal route" up CT is now, that would be the outstanding Ragni route in the west face.

cheers
'Pass the Pitons' Pete

Big Wall climber
like Ontario, Canada, eh?
Jan 19, 2012 - 07:45pm PT
OK, cool. Thanks, Rolo. That's good, the holes can be filled when someone has time and good weather. A stick of epoxy is knott all that heavy.
Randisi

Boulder climber
Dalian, Liaoning
Jan 19, 2012 - 08:09pm PT
Who's going to bother going up there now to fill in the holes?

In my opinion, if you chop a bolt, you fill it in. Otherwise, leave it alone.

Especially on something as controversial as an erasure of an historic route.
MarkWestman

Trad climber
Talkeetna, Alaska
Jan 19, 2012 - 08:25pm PT
Thanks for the update, Rolo.

Are the original rappel stations for descending this way still intact as is, or are there now new variations?
Gene

climber
Jan 19, 2012 - 08:38pm PT
Let's not get sidetracked here. The fact that that such an amazing line – one of the best in the world - was recently climbed without use of bolts set by a freaking gas powered compressor far and away trumps whether the chopped bolt holes were filled. Come on, guys. Which is the bigger insult to what we believe in as climbers - hundreds of power-driven bolts or not filling their now chopped holes?

g
Stefan Jacobsen

Trad climber
Danmark
Jan 19, 2012 - 08:43pm PT
Thanks to Kennedy and Kruk for chopping parts of the route!
At present the holes are of insignificant concern compared with the bloody compressor. But maybe successive teams will continue the cleaning up. Time will show.
Randisi

Boulder climber
Dalian, Liaoning
Jan 19, 2012 - 08:49pm PT
Which is the bigger insult to what we believe in as climbers - hundreds of power-driven bolts or not filling their now chopped holes?

Haven't we as a community already accepted tens of thousands of power-driven bolts?

I'm more than a little ambivalent about the erasure of this historic and popular route.
The Alpine

Big Wall climber
Jan 19, 2012 - 08:57pm PT
Hmmm, not sure how I feel about the chopping of the route. A selfish me thinks its awesome.
Gregory Crouch

Social climber
Walnut Creek, California
Jan 19, 2012 - 09:20pm PT
Wow, incredible stuff. I'll confess to mixed feelings about the chopping, however.
Johnny K.

climber
Jan 19, 2012 - 09:22pm PT
The only insult is the unnecessary bolts and trash insulting the mountains left by coward climbers.

The chopping by Hayden,Kruk,Rolo and others are only helping clean up and showing respect to the beautiful mountains.

Maestri chopped his own bolt ladder on rappel at his high point while claiming the first ascent without even reaching the summit,he didnt even let his partner come to the high point before they rapped and chopped their own bolts on the way down.To hell with Maestri and his history and his contrived route,the compressor needs to be brought down and disposed of,as well as all the other trash left by pathetic climbers.Lama wants to rap bolt a section up there also,on top of all the bs he and rebull have made already.These people are insulting.Trashing the mountains with bolts and gear is the ultimate insult.


I applaud and commend anyone who cleans up trash from the beautiful mountains.So what they chopped the bolts but didnt fill them in yet,its a long process overall.They are doing something positive.Unlike all the big talkers online.
Gene

climber
Jan 19, 2012 - 09:27pm PT
I'll confess to mixed feelings about the chopping, however.


Understood. Tough call. Doubt that replacing the chopped bolts will be high on anybody's to-do list. But calling out Hayden and Jason for probably not filling chopped bolt holes strikes me as silly.

But that's just me.

Cheers all,
g
klk

Trad climber
cali
Jan 19, 2012 - 09:27pm PT
amazing ascent. and tx to the rolo for the post.


one of the most famous undones on on of the most famous peaks in the world in an area that's had a lot of visitation from really good teams.

i don't much care about the bolt holes-- this isn't el cap. high alpine environment, the tiny quantity of granite displaced by those studs is a fraction of what weathers off each year.

i understand randy's qualms about the route itself, though. in a weird way, it had become a sort of historic landscape. we don't line up to chop WW1 via ferrata in the Dolomites.

on the other hand, this is THE route that was in some ways the pinnacle of the mauerhakenstreit of the early 20th century and the bolt wars that followed. it seems to have been the immediate inspiration for messner's "murder of the impossible" exercise, and it was one of the major examples in the siege/alpine debates that i grew up with. the chop is in keeping with the seventies retro of the ascent.

the chop certainly changes the game-- no one is going to casually clip up that old tat in order to engineer a top-down free ascent. of course, that raises still more questions.
Oplopanax

Mountain climber
The Deep Woods
Jan 19, 2012 - 09:53pm PT
Now it's been decompressed.
Gregory Crouch

Social climber
Walnut Creek, California
Jan 19, 2012 - 09:55pm PT
Here are some of my initial thoughts... and I'd also like to point out that I'm not upset, nor taking sides in this... I haven't been active in Patagonia in a decade, and Rolo, for one, is a friend I much admire and respect...

I just posted 'em here...http://gregcrouch.com/2012/the-compressor-route-chopped

Here's the nut of it: I confess to having mixed feelings about the chopping. I’m sure I can get used to the idea, and the mountain is certainly closer to its original state than it was a few days ago, but on the other hand, it’s the end of an incredible story, and I think “the story” might be the thing I like most about climbing — whether mine or someone else’s.

Standing on top of Maestri’s Compressor is the most bizarre thing I’ve ever experienced, and I’m a little saddened that opportunity isn’t in the world any longer.

(I’m actually fool enough to have been there twice.)
SteveW

Trad climber
The state of confusion
Jan 19, 2012 - 09:55pm PT

Rolo
You've had so much to do with this--it's incredible to hear
that it is now 'decompressed'!!!!
Randisi

Boulder climber
Dalian, Liaoning
Jan 19, 2012 - 09:55pm PT
Perhaps I forgot to say:

Amazing adventure guys!
johngenx

climber
Jan 19, 2012 - 10:13pm PT
Superb work. All of it.
shipoopoi

Big Wall climber
oakland
Jan 19, 2012 - 10:56pm PT
that's fukin bullshite that they chopped the compressor route. i can just envision expeditions arriving now, intent on the compressor, only to get their dreams dished by these radical purist. i'm really dissapointed at whoever talked hayden and partner into this desecration. i don't give a fuk about what and how they climbed it, they fuked a historical route that was put up way before they were born. kids have no clue.
to hayden, i hope these are the last bolts that you will ever chop.
you been to patagonia and argentina like what, 2 or 3 times? steve schneider
rolo

climber
Topic Author's Reply - Jan 19, 2012 - 11:18pm PT
Nobody talked Jason and Hayden into it. To think that is to question two truly independent and visionary minds. I for one did not know until after the fact.

Regarding Greg's point, the story is still very much there. That will never go away. The story just got better.
shipoopoi

Big Wall climber
oakland
Jan 19, 2012 - 11:23pm PT
the story got BIGGER, not neccesarily better. ss
couchmaster

climber
pdx
Jan 19, 2012 - 11:28pm PT
...and they used bolts on their ascent....hmmmm, but those are fine. Maybe those were American bolts whereas the others were Italian. That would explain why they only chopped some. I'm sure all Americans agree that would be fine then.
We presume they used some of Maestri's belays but in pitches only clipped 5 bolts, four placed by Ermanno Salvaterra on his 1999 variation and one placed by Chris Geisler on his and Jason's variations last season.

Rolo, are you teasing us here? Perhaps it should have been left to the locals. What is next, a rappel chop job of Hardings bolt line on El Cap?

In either case, bolt discussions are like farts in the wind, they stink but briefly and are of truly little importance. Although sometimes they are loud, and can leave some sh#t behind after they blow away.
TwistedCrank

climber
Ideeho-dee-do-dah-day boom-chicka-boom-chicka-boom
Jan 19, 2012 - 11:31pm PT
The drama is beyond the pale.
gmmcdoug

Mountain climber
Calgary AB
Jan 19, 2012 - 11:33pm PT
I am severely sad and dissapointed in the selfish acts of the "superstars". This was a historic route. To those climbing 5.12 it may have just been a via ferrata. But at the same time Rolo, were you able to climb the compressor route free? Why should a historical route that is so surrounded by controversy be removed, because of one side of the story? It is no different from you imposing your values on anyone. Sounds sort of like a dictatorship don't you think? Deciding what is best for everyone?
Class would have been climbing the route, showing it could be done, and then leaving it for others to decide. Not arbitrarily chopping a piece of climbing history (even if it was lies and ethically challenged). There is a certain example set by being the bigger person. What these two did was no different than what Maestri did by chopping the last rock pitch of the climb. They are in exactly the same category. They were saying I did it, and only I can do it. Same statement as Maestri was making.
Aren't climbing routes the property of the community? For mere mortals it was history.
It was a route that should have never been established in the first place but it was. Chopping the route was a disservice to those who have climbed it before and the first real ascent of it by Bridwell.
Again who are you to play the ethical police to anyone? I climb what what I climb because I enjoy it. The best climber is the one having the most fun. So again I ask, what gave them the right to be Team America (or Canada) World Police (F*#k Yeah)
The Fair means ascent by world standards is far less of a contribution than that of curing cancer, at the end it shows us to dream but it is also it the masturbation of the ego for the climbers, further stoking their own egos by taking something away from others.
I believe in climbing ethics, but I believe in freedom of choice and not imposing my views on anyone. I have read the controversy about the peak and it fascinated me. I will no longer have the right to go and climb the route and make my own judgements about it. The accomplishment of these climbers is fantastic but they had no right to remove it.
Sincerely
Greg
Hawkeye

climber
State of Mine
Jan 19, 2012 - 11:36pm PT
so when is someone going to chop all those additional bolts on elcap? is it not the same thing but on a different scale? should we applaud the team that removes all the extra bolts on the salathe?
gmmcdoug

Mountain climber
Calgary AB
Jan 19, 2012 - 11:41pm PT
F*ckin chop them all. After all the guys who climbed it before couldn't climb for shitte since they had to place bolts.
Gene

climber
Jan 19, 2012 - 11:44pm PT
Did something similar to the East Face of Washington Column morphing into Astroman just happen?

g
Mighty Hiker

climber
Vancouver, B.C.
Jan 19, 2012 - 11:44pm PT
Once we have Jason's and Hayden's own report on their climb and what they did, we'll have more to discuss. They're both widely experienced and well rooted climbers, and I'd like to hear what they have to say.
shipoopoi

Big Wall climber
oakland
Jan 19, 2012 - 11:44pm PT
i think gmmcdoug makes some great points that i am too pissed to try and make. yeah, a whole slew of people are denied this route, at least until it gets put back up again. that's right, big fuking bolt war coming up.

i hear the superstars were last seen having a conversation with



















the police in el chalten. i won't speculate about what. ss
klk

Trad climber
cali
Jan 19, 2012 - 11:45pm PT
They are in exactly the same category. They were saying I did it, and only I can do it. Same statement as Maestri was making.

Except that Maestri didn't climb it.


Probably.
philo

Trad climber
Somewhere halfway over the rainbow
Jan 19, 2012 - 11:48pm PT
The imposition was Maestri's not Kruk & Kennedy. Good on them for cleaning up an historic disgrace.


Now you are free to go impose your will on it.
Remember history is watching.
gmmcdoug

Mountain climber
Calgary AB
Jan 19, 2012 - 11:51pm PT
True, then I guess Bridwell didn't either... or Greg or anyone else who climbed it.
Point is, it has been climbed once, the Compressor was a historical route. Pure and simply, I feel I am smart enough to make up my own mind about the merits of the route. But I don't appreciate the hypocrisy of chopping the route.
I do not support the route or the establishment but this goes to the point of someone dictating to me what I climb.
philo

Trad climber
Somewhere halfway over the rainbow
Jan 20, 2012 - 12:00am PT
The hypocrisy was in the placing of the bolts not in the removal,
sac

Trad climber
Sun Coast B.C.
Jan 20, 2012 - 12:06am PT
I do not support the route or the establishment but this goes to the point of someone dictating to me what I climb.

Perhaps you don't have to worry about that anymore...

The Larry

climber
Moab, UT
Jan 20, 2012 - 12:12am PT
Damn, and I just bought a double set of quickdraws for that route.

michaelj

Trad climber
San Francisco, CA
Jan 20, 2012 - 12:18am PT
I don't have a dog in this fight, but wouldn't it have been better style to chop ground-up?
Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
Jan 20, 2012 - 12:22am PT
From the online guide site:
http://pataclimb.com/climbingareas/chalten/torregroup/torre/SEridge.html#fair



The 1968 Crew and 1999 Salvaterra line is up the A2 and 6a+ above "R10".
1970 Maestri line is the A1e bolt ladders right of R10.
survival

Big Wall climber
A Token of My Extreme
Jan 20, 2012 - 12:28am PT
This is a great story.

I'm interested Steve, to hear what your thoughts are, beside being angry.

I would have left them. Are the big dogs afraid that people would keep climbing them? And how would that hurt them?

They wouldn't have diminished my new route in any way.

Sounds a bit like the gym. "Dude you used a green hold! I thought you were trying to send the yellow route!"

Or the old bouldering circuit. "Hey man, that crimp is off route."
JohnnyG

climber
Jan 20, 2012 - 12:29am PT
I've always wanted to climb that route...but I guess I don't easily have the option anymore. Anyone else out there like me? You know, there is so much history with that route. I thought it would be cool to check it out.

So, how many folks climbed it in a normal season?
shipoopoi

Big Wall climber
oakland
Jan 20, 2012 - 12:48am PT
survival, i've got a Huge history with that route. four separate expeditions to chalten over a dozen years, never with much luck, but with a lot of expense. i got highest with dave turner on my third expedition. we got to pitch 8. way below the maestri bolt ladders.

i've argued for this route in the mags before, and always against rolo. rolo is a guy i still consider a friend and who i respect the hell out of not for just his exploits, but his attitudes in the mountains. but, we are, unfortunately, at opposite ends of this spectrum.

it's a historic route, even if it was put up in bad style, lots of things were, who are we to judge 40 years later.

there are literally stacks of expeditions lined up to do this route each season. some probably down there right now. and some not very happy with the american cowboys who chopped the route they just came to do. i hope everybody down there can be civil about this.

to use the standards of today on the routes of yesterday just doesn't make much sense to me.

rolo, i hope you are happy. i know this is what you really wanted. ss
Mighty Hiker

climber
Vancouver, B.C.
Jan 20, 2012 - 12:50am PT
Umm, there were two involved - Jason Kruk (Canada) and Hayden Kennedy (USA). (OK, Hayden's father was born a Canadian, or Canada/US citizen, IIRC, but whatever.)

We can speculate about the climb, what they did, and the consequences, but facts are helpful.
Ben Harland

Gym climber
Kenora, ON
Jan 20, 2012 - 12:51am PT
Did they chop the compressor itself? Where is it now? If it gets re-bolted, will they haul the original back up there?

Interesting story indeed!
philo

Trad climber
Somewhere halfway over the rainbow
Jan 20, 2012 - 12:54am PT
Coz man big props for all you have done.
But... While most of us from BITD are doing geritol shooters and looking for the metamucil, great alpinism is a youth's pursuit. I for one am heartened that the bar has been set so high by these young leopards. And I really hope no one is fool enough to go re-bolt it.

Steve can drone a dirge and dance in his dandies for all the good it will do.
His big concern is I believe commercial. All those "climbers" coming from around the world and lined up to get hauled up one route. How much was the guide fee for the Compressor Route? Just a guess but there is probably one or two other climbs around.
Well the summit of Cerro Torre is still there and all you have to be is good enough to earn it.
I for one have always felt that some summits should be earned and not bought. I know a few too many credit card climbers who's greatest ability to accomplish the climbs they went on was their ability to pay the price of admission. That is not alpinism it is commercial climbing.
I know that I am just old and in the way, never did anything worth a damn and should probably keep it to my self but I applaud both their climb up and their clean down.
crunch

Social climber
CO
Jan 20, 2012 - 01:05am PT
Did they chop the compressor itself? Where is it now?

Chessler is gonna put it up on eBay just as soon as he gets a few signatures--Rolo, Bridwell, Hugo Chavez.
Mighty Hiker

climber
Vancouver, B.C.
Jan 20, 2012 - 01:06am PT
What was reported by Colin Haley on January 17th, 2012, and is apparently on his FaceBook page:

"BIG NEWS: Although Jorge and I unfortunately fluffed this weather window, today we got to watch history being made through a Canon G12 zoom lens at Norwegos: Hayden Kennedy and Jason Kruk made the first fair-means ascent of the SE Ridge of Cerro Torre. Although I'm not 100% sure about the details, I think they took about 13 hours to the summit from a bivy at the shoulder, which is amazingly fast considering the terrain. The speed with which they navigated virgin ground on the upper headwall is certainly testament to Hayden's great skills on rock. Bravo! They might be in the mountains several more days (more good weather coming), but I'm sure we'll hear the details soon!"
http://e9climbing.blogspot.com/2012/01/cerro-torre-sans-bolts.html (underlining added)

Perhaps Rolo has additional sources.
guest

climber
Jan 20, 2012 - 01:11am PT
Fantastic climb by Hayden and Jason, and I think it's fair enough to return the route to closer to its natural state. If it's fair to indiscriminately blast bolts in, shouldn't it logically be fair to remove them? My opinion, one of many -- no clear answers. Though well put by Phil: "The imposition was Maestri's not Kruk & Kennedy. Good on them for cleaning up an historic disgrace."

To those so vehemently opposed to chopping the via ferrata, I wonder... I don't give credit to claims such as Steve's: "a whole slew of people are denied this route." What, so people have some inalienable *right* to climb a mountain that they otherwise cannot, by fair means, ascend? I wholeheartedly disagree.

Likewise, the lack of an escalator up the thing denies hikers from reaching the summit. Side note: the "elitist" accusations about Hayden & Jason are absurd; every person reading this is "elitist" if they, as a climber, do not want escalators, elevators, and helicopters to the summits -- I mean, hey, why should mall-walkers be denied a chance to also stand atop Cerro Torre (or: insert name of your favorite technical summit here)? Somewhere along our climbing spectrum lies an accepted use of technology -- sticky rubber, stretchy ropes, bolts when needed -- and nobody who has actually seen the Compressor Route themselves could, in any rational way, try to claim that Maestri's line of bolts comes anywhere close to reasonable. It's bizarre, outlandish. Maestri was a great climber, but his Compressor Route was insane; perhaps he was insane, or just maniacally obsessed with Cerro Torre. To read some of the history of him and CT is fascinating. Bolt ladders beside perfect cracks. 400 bolts on a route that could reasonably use, I dunno, 20? Fewer? Sure, it's still "hard" because it's Cerro Torre. So what. That's meaningless. Riding my bike to the Estes Park post office in winter is hard, with the wind and all. I do know what I'm talking about here -- I've seen the Compressor Route up-close, as I rapped past its never-ending line of bolts after climbing CT a different way in 2007 -- within the spectrum of natural difficulty that exists on CT, only the most self-delusional could consider the Compressor Route anything but a travesty and a rape of the mountain.

We roll our eyes at people getting dragged up Everest with oxygen and Sherpas short-roping them the whole way up. Ahhhh, but when it comes a mountain we actually want to climb, like Cerro Torre, then we consider an equally unfair means of ascent -- like Maestri's abomination -- to be something that should stay? Fine if you want to climb it, I think, and I can understand the "it's there, might as well leave it" sentiment. But to look at it rationally, I think it's also fair to understand the sentiment of removing it. To get so indignant, Steve and others, about a bolt ladder route being removed, so upset that you're fuming and unable to see the other side of the issue, well, I think it's completely irrational.

I, for one, love the idea of a mountain being so steep, so difficult, so imposing from all sides, that there is no easy way to its summit; or even the notion that it is simply too difficult to climb until we are good enough, and so we walk away. It's a very different attitude than even the great Cesare Maestri had on his attempt, but I think it's a valuable attitude nonetheless. Bravo, Hayden and Jason.

--Kelly Cordes (sorry, my name doesn't appear with how I signed up on ST years ago)
Snorky

Trad climber
Carbondale, CO
Jan 20, 2012 - 01:18am PT
The boys made a bold correction. The bolts were a monument to narrow self-interest and unchecked ego. They had no place in wild mountains. To venerate them is to celebrate hybris. Maestri sold his soul. As for their historical value, many more of us will get to witness and contemplate them and their story in a museum than on the headwall of Cerro Torre.

Those who defend the existence of the bolts as some sort of in situ climbing archaeology should remember that these bolts were not placed in the spirit of exploration and adventure, but in a selfish force of ego. Should fixed ropes and discarded oxygen cylinders be left on 8000-meter peaks because they contribute to historical context?
philo

Trad climber
Somewhere halfway over the rainbow
Jan 20, 2012 - 01:29am PT
Thanx Sketch, your perspective is a weighty one.


I, for one, love the idea of a mountain being so steep, so difficult, so imposing from all sides, that there is no easy way to its summit; or even the notion that it is simply too difficult to climb until we are good enough, and so we walk away. It's a very different attitude than even the great Cesare Maestri had on his attempt, but I think it's a valuable attitude nonetheless. Bravo, Hayden and Jason.


Since when, as a young developing climber, I heard the whispered tale of what was then called the hardest summit in the world, Cerro Torre was seared into my very being as the ultimate quest for purity and aesthetics in alpinism. Conversely The compressor Route has always been an insult and an abomination to me. Those who have ascended it's historic passage have lost nothing. Those who would claim to have lost the chance probably never really had much of one.
crunch

Social climber
CO
Jan 20, 2012 - 01:33am PT
I, for one, love the idea of a mountain being so steep, so difficult, so imposing from all sides, that there is no easy way to its summit; or even the notion that it is simply too difficult to climb until we are good enough, and so we walk away. It's a very different attitude than even the great Cesare Maestri had on his attempt, but I think it's a valuable attitude nonetheless. Bravo, Hayden and Jason.

Yeah!

Beautifully put.

I can see how there is a precedent set with the bolt route being long-established, popular, historic and how maybe it should be grandfathered in and all. My head figures someone will go back up and re-establish the route. My heart agrees with Kelly.
Gregory Crouch

Social climber
Walnut Creek, California
Jan 20, 2012 - 01:35am PT
Kudos to Kelly for putting his name to his post.
shipoopoi

Big Wall climber
oakland
Jan 20, 2012 - 01:36am PT
kelly/guest, that's some beautiful thoughts you got on this issue. i think all of us are enraptured by this peak. if i got my panties in a bunch over this issue, i can tell you that, at least they are nice pink panties.
kelly, i've met you a bit and totally respect the shite you have done. especially for a freaking welterweight or whatever you were.
so, i'll think about what you are saying, and hope you can see that i might have a point or two also. ss
survival

Big Wall climber
A Token of My Extreme
Jan 20, 2012 - 01:38am PT
to use the standards of today on the routes of yesterday just doesn't make much sense to me.


That was kind of my point. Although all seem to agree that the compressor was put up in bogus style, I just don't see how it's existence, or even climbers less-than-you climbing it, takes away from you climbing CT in the most bitchin' style, by the most bitchin' route you want.
philo

Trad climber
Somewhere halfway over the rainbow
Jan 20, 2012 - 01:39am PT
Ya gotta figure that who ever would have the hubris sac to go back an re-bolt the rock would hafta know that they would be forever scorched by the infamy of ubberdouchebaggery.
mission

Social climber
boulder,co
Jan 20, 2012 - 01:49am PT
I agree with Kelly. Isn't Cerro Torre so much more rad, knowing that there's no 5.10 A1 clip-up on it? .
Bruce Kay

Gym climber
BC
Jan 20, 2012 - 02:03am PT
Did they chop the compressor itself? Where is it now?

Why its sitting on my mantle piece of course. I am just now admiring its fine lines while enjoying a glass of 1998 Donini Malbec and a Bridwell Camel, while dreaming up various tall tales to entertain dinner guests with my new conversation piece. I thought i'd have to go get it myself but as luck would have it it popped up on E Bay just a few days ago. A couple of enterprising lads were in need of a little cash it seems, to finance the traverse of the Latoks, or a set of new tires - which ever came first they said.
fsck

climber
Jan 20, 2012 - 02:14am PT
i just couldn't bring myself to put a serious bid on maestri's compressor. i've saw the photos and it seems like there's just too much work to put into it to get it running again. i really don't want to shell out for a brand new compressor but that thing looks like it's been out in the elements for a while and i just don't think it's reliable anymore.
jfs

Trad climber
Upper Leftish
Jan 20, 2012 - 02:30am PT
That was kind of my point. Although all seem to agree that the compressor was put up in bogus style, I just don't see how it's existence, or even climbers less-than-you climbing it, takes away from you climbing CT in the most bitchin' style, by the most bitchin' route you want.
Ever see the "if you don't like the retro bolts on route Such-n-Such, then just don't clip them" argument? Not a direct comparison here of course, but the thought process is the same. Added bolts (or excess bolts) undeniably change the character of the climb and the peak and any actions surrounding them. Unavoidably. Claiming otherwise is, I think, denying the obvious. Maestri robbed the generations following him of the opportunity to compete on the same pure playing field as he attempted to.

Admittedly, I have a double standard and do place alpine climbs in a different, idealized category. I clip bolts and wank around on sport routes as often as most people around here probably, but when it comes to "our" prized peaks, I love that quaint (?) ideal of the survival and preservation (or resurrection ... as the case may be) of the impossible. There is no denying that Maestri's route crossed a line somewhere. Where precisely that ethical line in the sand is (or was) could be debated ad nauseam here. But it was crossed.

I love the fact that if I one day get the opportunity to climb CT, I can do so (or fail?) without having that bolt ladder laughing in my face while I do so. Call it my own insecurity or sorry weakness, but I don't want that "easy out" anywhere near me on something as iconic and beautiful as Cerro Torre. I want to to fail and fail with no option other than to accept my failure as the weakness that it was. Or succeed and know that I succeeded on even terms with the mountain. A line of bolts to either climb, or bail from, changes the whole equation. Changes all the thought processes and decisions involved.

If nothing else, its existence gave somewhat implied permission to others who feel the need to reduce the mountain to just another playground to fill up with their own bolts. Removing them is a statement about the community's view of that kind of thing. That's reason enough to pull them out if you ask me.

Yeah, I know that's all quaint and cliche. Suck it. ;-)
Kinobi

climber
Jan 20, 2012 - 04:24am PT
I am pretty sure Maestri does not give too much sh#t for what they did.
Acutally real men, chops on bolts on lead, not on rappel.
And real men, use the same gear the people they want to criticize used.

Before talking any further sh#t on Maestri, go there, climb the line with leather boots, and with 1970 gear (no cams, of course).

Leave your GTX jackets home too.

Greetings
Emanuele
healyje

Trad climber
Portland, Oregon
Jan 20, 2012 - 04:41am PT
...only to get their dreams dished by these radical purists.

God forbid anyone should arrive to find the rock in closer to the same condition Maestri found it in. Being able to stand on a compressor mid-route may be a [bankable] part of our [commercial] history but it has, in every respect, been one of collective embarrassment that it took this long to clean up.

Hope is clearly not lost on this new generation of alpinists.
Studly

Trad climber
WA
Jan 20, 2012 - 05:18am PT
Did the Argentines agree to this? This is their mountain, their route, in their country. We as American climbers are guests. How is it that we know best what is right for Cerro Torre? Are our ethics higher and loftier then everyone elses?
Stefan Jacobsen

Trad climber
Danmark
Jan 20, 2012 - 05:33am PT
Studly, did the Argentinians approve of the bolting in the first place?
enzolino

climber
Galgenen, Switzerland
Jan 20, 2012 - 05:59am PT
After the "insane" Maestri's bolts, I wonder when will be the turn of "insane" Harding's bolts on the Nose ...

Hayden Kennedy and Jason Kruk claimed they only clipped five bolts, so, they used other five bolts.

I see a lot of inconsistencies in the whole "fair means" issue and in this insane crusade.

By the way .. which is the proof of their performance?
Do they have a video?

Thanks
healyje

Trad climber
Portland, Oregon
Jan 20, 2012 - 06:14am PT
By the way .. which is the proof of their performance?

Well, unless they left a spray of video bolts off to the side or a large chunk of junk you can stand on near their supposed high point, I'm guessing we'll never really know if they actually even made an attempt let alone climbed it.

And as a sidebar: the lost economic opportunity associated with this massacree is probably going to sink the Argentine economy for sure. But then, some guide will probably rebolt it - what with flights and hotels having been paid for after all - and, hey, they could save the country in the process.
enzolino

climber
Galgenen, Switzerland
Jan 20, 2012 - 06:39am PT
healyje

if you check on Rolo's website, he doubts about climbers' first ascents if they don't have an undisputable proof. Even a picture with a stormy weather is not sufficient.

So, if these "egoless" guys, who "purified" the Compressor route, want some credibility, according to Garibotti's standards, they should provide at least a video ... :-)
mcreel

climber
Barcelona
Jan 20, 2012 - 07:46am PT
I've heard there's a bolt in the Texas Flake chimney...
enzolino

climber
Galgenen, Switzerland
Jan 20, 2012 - 08:07am PT
Hayden Kennedy and Jason Kruk can carry on their mission on their own country and remove the bolts on the Nose ...
Go ahead chaps!
YoungGun

climber
North
Jan 20, 2012 - 08:19am PT
chopping story hits Alpinist:

http://www.alpinist.com/doc/web12w/newswire-compressor-kennedy-kruk-flash
TwistedCrank

climber
Ideeho-dee-do-dah-day boom-chicka-boom-chicka-boom
Jan 20, 2012 - 08:33am PT
All this hand-wringing and chest-thumping aside - I'd sure like to hear Maestri's reaction. That chap was alway good for a sound bite or two.
philo

Trad climber
Somewhere halfway over the rainbow
Jan 20, 2012 - 09:04am PT
Enzo, they were watched climbing by Colin Haley.
Proof enough for any reasonable person.
enzolino

climber
Galgenen, Switzerland
Jan 20, 2012 - 09:20am PT
So,
the first big news was that they climbed the route free.
Then that instead, that they climbed it boltless.
Then that they clipped five bolts.
Then that, on the rappel, they chopped most of the bolts.

Cerro Torre is quite big piece of rock and ice, but Haley, I guess from the bottom, monitored carefully that they didn't clip the bolts. This should the proof of their "exploit".

Am I correct?

Is this really alpinism or rather a circus?
survival

Big Wall climber
Terrapin Station
Jan 20, 2012 - 09:31am PT
Circus, part 31,419
A-Train

climber
Jan 20, 2012 - 09:43am PT
Good on ya boys! Excellent job. Thank you for starting the job of cleaning up the trashing of one of the greatest mountains on Earth.
KyleO

Gym climber
Calgary, AB
Jan 20, 2012 - 09:48am PT
Let me clarify...

No media or climber has reported they climbed it free, except in the title of my previous thread. Details were not there at the time I posted the thread and the title cannot be edited afterwards.

It seems they did free Cerro Torre from the bolt line and possibly future bolt lines...(Think Lama). I imagine a sport climber like himself will have a much harder time putting up his red bull route without the Compressor bolts.
YoungGun

climber
North
Jan 20, 2012 - 09:58am PT
So,
the first big news was that they climbed the route free.
Then that instead, that they climbed it boltless.
Then that they clipped five bolts.
Then that, on the rappel, they chopped most of the bolts.

Cerro Torre is quite big piece of rock and ice, but Haley, I guess from the bottom, monitored carefully that they didn't clip the bolts. This should the proof of their "exploit".

Am I correct?

Is this really alpinism or rather a circus?

The circus is Super Topo, not Kruk and Kennedy's alpine achievements. Let's not confuse the two. Respect, guys.
Dingus Milktoast

Gym climber
And every fool knows, a dog needs a home, and...
Jan 20, 2012 - 10:00am PT
May the compressor itself hang at its lofty perch till the fickle hand of the mountain sweeps it into the abyss. My opinion of the bolt chopping is irrelevant however.

DMT
Slakkey

Big Wall climber
From Back to Big Wall Baby
Jan 20, 2012 - 10:04am PT

The circus is Super Topo, not Kruk and Kennedy's alpine achievements. Let's not confuse the two. Respect, guys.

Agree
New Age II

climber
Jan 20, 2012 - 10:16am PT
I do not agree at all! He's right .... Enzolino
philo

Trad climber
Somewhere halfway over the rainbow
Jan 20, 2012 - 10:25am PT
If you call a respectful conversation with some of the top climber in the world a circus, so be it.
Right on Coz.


I think Rollo should have done it himself, but I very much respect his climbing, the man he is and his willingness to take a stand.
He probably would have except he is probably more involved with amazing new things.

He is a class act, and one of the best climber the world has ever seen, doesn't mean I have to agree, however.
Right on again!
New Age II

climber
Jan 20, 2012 - 10:26am PT
The two young people have used the bolts to go up .... what is so innovative?
YoungGun

climber
North
Jan 20, 2012 - 10:30am PT
If you call a respectful conversation with some of the top climber in the world a circus, so be it.

Let me clarify. The OTHER thread was a circus with all of its rumors, speculation and misinformation. (And I'm not placing blame. I'm as ignorant as anyone.) I agree this thread is pretty civilized and has some thoughtful comments from legendary climbers, like yourself, which I appreciate.
gmmcdoug

Mountain climber
Calgary AB
Jan 20, 2012 - 10:46am PT
Natural state? There will still be broken bolts and machine gun holes all the way up the route. It is still desecrated. It may make Lama's free ascent easier, he can likely use the holes as pockets.

Over bolting is bad,
un-necessary bolting is bad
Chipping holds is bad
Styles that needlessly compromise the environment bad.

But really, removing the bolts? There are still holes everywhere. How does this make it any better. As opposed to it being of historical significance, where people can climb (or clip) it if they like it is now a bigger broken piece of trash. (edit note: Cerro Torre is not trash- it is likely the most beutiful peak in the world)

What to me is funny is to me is that the biggest advocates of chopping the route at least tried to climb ir or have (kudos boys, first hand knowledge). It could be argued some cut their teeth on it. So again if they got to try it and make a decision on Maestri's merits, why should others not have the same right?

Outof curiosuity how many people still sumitted the route by the compressor route each year? I was still under the impression, it didn't see that many.
Snorky

Trad climber
Carbondale, CO
Jan 20, 2012 - 11:35am PT
that's fukin bullshite that they chopped the compressor route. i can just envision expeditions arriving now, intent on the compressor, only to get their dreams dished by these radical purist. i'm really dissapointed at whoever talked hayden and partner into this desecration. i don't give a fuk about what and how they climbed it, they fuked a historical route that was put up way before they were born. kids have no clue.
to hayden, i hope these are the last bolts that you will ever chop.
you been to patagonia and argentina like what, 2 or 3 times? steve schneider


Once you admit to defecating on other people's gear, after chopping their bolts without prior inspection, I think you sacrifice the right to have a legitimate opinion about climbing ethics. Your attack on Kennedy and Kruk is hypocritical and unwarranted. Their actions may be controversial, but they are entirely defensible. I'm sure they will explain with thoughtful eloquence and it won't take them 29 years to do it. They are young, like you once were, but unlike you, I'm sure they thought about the significance of their actions within the continuum of climbing history, and will be prepared, like men, to own up to their actions and discuss them.
scotch

Mountain climber
italy
Jan 20, 2012 - 11:56am PT
All my congratulation. Now Cerro Torre is like the mother did it... Thank you, ermanno salvaterra
e9climbing.blogspot.com

Mountain climber
Alps (Euro trash )
Jan 20, 2012 - 12:08pm PT
This is just fantastic news! Chopping history!
Tami

Social climber
Canada
Jan 20, 2012 - 12:16pm PT
Jason and Hayden many many thanks for a ton of cartoon fodder.

:-)
Snowmassguy

Big Wall climber
Boulder
Jan 20, 2012 - 12:21pm PT
So bummed. I was totally going to flash that route. I been training in the gym every Tuesday night doing endless laps! Even been practicing standing in my aiders. Also, just talked to my 1/2 French, half Italian guide and he is really pissed. This is totally not fair. Now im really gona die.
Mighty Hiker

climber
Vancouver, B.C.
Jan 20, 2012 - 12:26pm PT
Jason and Hayden many many thanks for a ton of cartoon fodder.

How much did you pay them? How did you mislead those two innocent young men into a life of bolt chopping?
Snorky

Trad climber
Carbondale, CO
Jan 20, 2012 - 12:29pm PT
Was that a cheap shot? Yeah, maybe. Sorry. I feel slightly bad. Seemed fair enough at the time.

Go to another thread with your childish ranting.

There is no childish ranting to be found in this thread.

Anyway, back to the Compressor Route:

Credit: Snorky
Brandon-

climber
The Granite State.
Jan 20, 2012 - 12:34pm PT
Honestly Snorky, I found your rationale spot on.

SS dissing the bolt chop is akin to the pot calling the kettle black, no racism meant toward African Americans or potheads.

enzolino

climber
Galgenen, Switzerland
Jan 20, 2012 - 12:40pm PT
Ermanno Salvaterra,

you also added bolts on Cerro Torre, right?
So, I don't understand your enthusiasm if you "violated" the mountain as well.
Or, I understand it in "hypocritical" or incongruent perspective.
philo

Trad climber
Somewhere halfway over the rainbow
Jan 20, 2012 - 12:57pm PT
A picture is worth a thousand words.
Kinobi

climber
Jan 20, 2012 - 01:09pm PT
With reference to:
"Enzo, they were watched climbing by Colin Haley.
Proof enough for any reasonable person. "

Well, this is false: Rolo never belived Cesarino Fava who said se saw Egger/Maestri climbing.
Ciao,
E


Kinobi

climber
Jan 20, 2012 - 01:13pm PT
With Reference to:
"All my congratulation. Now Cerro Torre is like the mother did it... Thank you, ermanno salvaterra "

Ermanno Salvaterra, Piergiorgio Vidi and Roberto Manni dumped their alluminium capsule on Cerro Torre's Glacier, after the climb of Route "Infinto sud" in 1995.
http://www.pataclimb.com/climbingareas/chalten/torregroup/torre/infinito.html
Ciao,
E
bmacd

Mountain climber
100% Canadian
Jan 20, 2012 - 01:21pm PT
I can speculate one thing with accuracy, before Jason left for the southern hemisphere he spent considerable time teaching himself final cut pro. We chatted about video shooting and the importance of getting a good sequence to to work with before the editing starts.

I have no doubt there will be some superb video coming back to North America of their exploits on Cerro Torre. Better get your Vancouver International Mountain Film Festival tickets now.
guest

climber
Jan 20, 2012 - 01:26pm PT
Let’s be sure our details are correct for some of our judgments -- some folks are mistaken on a couple of key points:

• “Did the Argentines agree to this? This is their mountain, their route, in their country” and whole ‘Merican/Canadian “cowboys” thing that implies outsiders are wrecking a locals’ route. The Compressor Route was established by an Italian “cowboy.” Cesari Maestri was not local. It’s not like he had some sort of “local’s consent” (however one would accurately gather that, anyway…) before installing a hardware store on the most beautiful peak in the world. To imply that Hayden and Jason were acting as wild “cowboys” while giving a de facto pass to Maestri, who did the extraordinary damage in the first place as a foreigner himself, is wrong.

• The “applying today’s standards to yesterday’s routes” thing – in general I agree with what folks mean, but it’s totally mistaken in the case of the Compressor Route. It was globally decried at the time it went in – hell, back in that time, bolting was probably less accepted than it is today. 40 years ago, Maestri’s bolt-a-thon made the cover of the influential Mountain magazine, with the title: “Cerro Torre: a Mountain Desecrated.” It wasn’t anywhere near accepted at the time. Probably even less accepted then than it is today.

Of course folks have the right to think the route should stay, and I understand some of those arguments, but ya shouldn’t base them on inaccuracies.

--Kelly
Tami

Social climber
Canada
Jan 20, 2012 - 01:42pm PT
How did you mislead those two innocent young men into a life of bolt chopping?


Bribed Kennedy's old lady.


Maestri sure is the gift that keeps giving.


For my opinion and it's 0.000001c that it's worth ? Glad they chopped the Compressor Route.

enzolino

climber
Galgenen, Switzerland
Jan 20, 2012 - 01:48pm PT
Kelly,
the largest inaccuracy is to ignore the historical and ethical context in, which Maestri was acting.
Beside his undisputable free climbing skills, Maestri came from an ethical heritage in Dolomites, where the alpinists of the time were "exploring" the style of direttissima. These were the '50 and '60 and only late in the sixties climbers started to criticize. The famous Messner article "The Murderer of the impossible" was written in 1971.
Therefore to blame Maestri for an ethic which was a product of his time is, I'm sorry for this, a gesture of ignorance.

Re-write history and describe Maestri and the Compressor route as megalomaniac or insane as has been done, is absolutely unfair.

I wonder if any of who discredit Maestri, beside Garibotti or Salvaterra, has ever read Maestri's books or Alpine history.
Studly

Trad climber
WA
Jan 20, 2012 - 01:48pm PT
Kelly, did they have the permission and support of the Argentine climbing community to do this?
That is really what it all boils down to. If they did, then my hat is off to them and kudos!
Mighty Hiker

climber
Vancouver, B.C.
Jan 20, 2012 - 01:51pm PT
What (if anything) does Argentinian law say about it? Not that we have a first-party account of what was done yet. If the fuss about Cerro Torre over the last fifty years shows anything, it's that facts are sacred.
philo

Trad climber
Somewhere halfway over the rainbow
Jan 20, 2012 - 01:53pm PT
Studly how important is that really?
Who speaks for the diversity of opinions within a whole community.
Consensus is the key.
healyje

Trad climber
Portland, Oregon
Jan 20, 2012 - 02:09pm PT
...the largest inaccuracy is to ignore the historical and ethical context in, which Maestri was acting. Beside his undisputable free climbing skills, Maestri came from an ethical heritage in Dolomites,

As an old guy, I would love to be reminded of exactly which "ethical context" of the time included hauling gas-powered compressors up routes...

That Maestri contemplated and acquired a gas-powered compressor in the first place tells you everything you need to know about his intent for the route before ever leaving Italy. An epic fail, which was called just that, in its own time.
Gregory Crouch

Social climber
Walnut Creek, California
Jan 20, 2012 - 02:15pm PT
Having slept on this, I'm finding myself more uncomfortable with this than I was last night.

Here are my more developed thoughts: http://gregcrouch.com/2012/the-compressor-route-chopped-more-thoughts

The gist:

I find myself lamenting its loss, and I’m hurt that members of my community have taken it away from me without even giving me an opportunity to voice my opinion about whether or not it should stand. Without giving ANY of the rest of us that opportunity.

That route was our common possession, and now it’s gone.

(also, as an irrelevant aside, would somebody please visit my blog from North Dakota. The hole in my google analytics data is making me crazy! ;-) )
enzolino

climber
Galgenen, Switzerland
Jan 20, 2012 - 02:21pm PT
As an old guy, I would love to be reminded of exactly which "ethical context" of the time included hauling gas-powered compressors up routes...

That Maestri contemplated and acquired a gas-powered compressor in the first place tells you everything you need to know about his intent for the route before ever leaving Italy. An epic fail, which was called just that, in its own time
The ethical context was the systematic bolting of the wall to reach the summit. Maestri used the last technology of the time. Which, indeed, was a novelty, although controversial and heavily criticized. It's part of climbing evolution to utilize new technologies. Some might become successful, other might be criticised and abandoned. Now, most of HLF (High-Long-Free) routes are opened using electric drills. So, was it really a big deal?
Peter Haan

Trad climber
San Francisco, CA
Jan 20, 2012 - 02:25pm PT
Good on this. It is quite surprisingly after all that this kooky compressor business of Maestri's hadn't been cleared out long long ago. It was akin to finding an upside down abandoned car body in El Cap Meadow or the Louvre ceiling leaking on to the Mona Lisa. Good on you too, Snorky just above... Steve Schneider seems to be having a really rough time recently and has me frankly worried even more now. His brother and mom are friends of mine. All this does not need to be a drama at all.
WBraun

climber
Jan 20, 2012 - 02:35pm PT
What a freakin drama.

We scream when we put em in and we scream when we take em out .....
philo

Trad climber
Somewhere halfway over the rainbow
Jan 20, 2012 - 02:45pm PT
I saw Maestri's Terrible Hubris more along the lines of someone having scrawled a mustachio across Mona Lisa's Smile.
Sadly, It's removal would have some few say that it's having been there is all the justification needed for it's continued presence and to condemn the restorers for imposing their elitist will on the world

Question, did David Lama and Red Bull ask the locals if they would mind them adding more unnecessary bolts and bailing leaving a ton of crap behind? Kennedy and Kruk left it better than they found it. Isn't that what we all should strive to do? Props to the MEN!.

guest

climber
Jan 20, 2012 - 02:47pm PT
Hi Enzolino -- I don't think the ethic and style of climbing mountains in 1970-71 (when Maestri did the compressor) included, for the most part, using a gas-powered compressor to install lines of bolts beside perfect cracks. I've seen his bolts -- it is truly crazy. In 1970-71, people, including Maestri -- I am aware of some of his great climbs and his talent -- were perfectly capable of climbing and naturally protecting splitter 5.7-5.9 cracks (as some of the parts of the CR are, as I recall -- whatever it was, it's not 5.13 seams that don't take pro). My understanding of history is that the direttissima had evolved well beyond Maestri's antics on Cerro Torre. I can't think of other places in the world where, in that time/day, placing bolt ladders up 5.7 cracks was accepted. Again, I think the global reaction to Maestri's antics at the time support this notion.

Studly -- as I wrote in my last post, I'm not sure this "permission & support" thing is super relevant, at least not without considering that Maestri certainly had no permission from the community in the first place. I disagree that this is "what it all boils down to." One could say that two wrongs don't make a right (though I don’t believe the chopping to necessarily be “wrong”—my opinion), fair enough, but don't ignore the fact that the initial transgression came from an "outsider" going full cowboy himself.
Maybe Hayden & Jason should have gotten consensus from the community there? Yeah, good luck with that in either direction (yay or nay). How does one define the community, and a consensus? Community meaning…the college kids from Buenos Aires working in Chalten for the summer? The people who go there and do some bouldering? Argentine citizens, regardless of whether or not they’re climbers informed on the topic? Those who've been on Cerro Torre? Must they have summitted? If so, by which routes? Those who've spent a ton of time in the peaks there? The rangers? Who? Even so, what do you say about Maestri's not having "permission and support" to do his desecration in the first place? If one wants to assail Hayden and Jason for not having such permission, ya cannot ignore Maestri's doing the same. I would say that Maestri did greater damage to begin with. While I know that some still think H&J were wrong, I don't think it's fair to lambast them without the context of the initial atrocity -- guess that's my main point in regards to your point. Sorry for the rambles!
--Kelly

Dingus Milktoast

Gym climber
And every fool knows, a dog needs a home, and...
Jan 20, 2012 - 02:51pm PT
It is what it is... someone put the bolts in, someone else chopped them out, one to one relationship. As it should be imo. I don't really like the whole Climber Committee bullsh#t, myself. I don't really like government-mandated bolting policy either.

Wild west all the way... is preferable to the alternatives in my ever so humble opinion.

But I do hope the compressor artifact is not chopped loose by the hand of man.

DMT

enzolino

climber
Galgenen, Switzerland
Jan 20, 2012 - 03:03pm PT
Hi Enzolino -- I don't think the ethic and style of climbing mountains in 1970-71 (when Maestri did the compressor) included, for the most part, using a gas-powered compressor to install lines of bolts beside perfect cracks. I've seen his bolts -- it is truly crazy. In 1970-71, people, including Maestri -- I am aware of some of his great climbs and his talent -- were perfectly capable of climbing and naturally protecting splitter 5.7-5.9 cracks (as some of the parts of the CR are, as I recall -- whatever it was, it's not 5.13 seams that don't take pro). My understanding of history is that the direttissima had evolved well beyond Maestri's antics on Cerro Torre. I can't think of other places in the world where, in that time/day, placing bolt ladders up 5.7 cracks was accepted. Again, I think the global reaction to Maestri's antics at the time support this notion
What do you mean by 5.7-5.9 cracks?
Dolomite rock, typical Maestri's playground, is characterized by thin cracks where you place relatively thin pitons. Maybe Maestri was unfamiliar on granit and very familiar with bolt ladders, that for him to add bolts close to those cracks was not such a big deal. Now, the bolts close to the 5.7-5.9 cracks are considered a blasphemy, but not in Maestri's time. At least in my opinion.
guest

climber
Jan 20, 2012 - 03:09pm PT
BTW, sounds like, so far, that the "Compressor Route Chopped" thing is an overstatement (man, it's a weird world the way info travels -- I don't think anyone has even heard from Hayden & Jason yet; sh#t, what if all of this hubbub is about nothing, and they were like, "nah dude, we were in the bar the whole time" ha! -- then again, hearing the info from Rolo is as solid as solid can be). From how it sounds, the most significant bolt chopping was the headwall -- same as Maestri himself did on his way down, after he'd installed them on his way up. CT must have the most bizarre history of any peak in the world.

Sounds like the 5.7 bolt ladders and such are still there for people who want them. Ya just maybe have to do some legitimate climbing to reach the top now. (Elitist!!!!)
guest

climber
Jan 20, 2012 - 03:14pm PT
What do you mean by 5.7-5.9 cracks?
Enzolino -- I meant the 5.7-to-5.9 bolted cracks on the Compressor Route. (That grade range is an estimation -- point being that he put up bolt ladders by cracks perfectly protectable in that day and age.)
philo

Trad climber
Somewhere halfway over the rainbow
Jan 20, 2012 - 03:21pm PT
He threw away his bold past and was flipping the bird at the world of Alpinism.
healyje

Trad climber
Portland, Oregon
Jan 20, 2012 - 03:23pm PT
Maestri used the latest technology of the time. Which, indeed, was a novelty, although controversial and heavily criticized.

It's sure hard to counter logic this tortured. Glad it's done, hopefully someone will now do a last cleanup survey and plug the holes. With a good patch job it will be much closer to the way Maestri found it. Hard to imagine why anyone would want to memorialize and preserve such an embarrassing hatchet job and blight on a beautiful piece of stone like CT.
Brian in SLC

Social climber
Salt Lake City, UT
Jan 20, 2012 - 03:25pm PT
Apparently the holes are still there?

Easy enough to refill. Harder to redrill.

Bolt wars always end up being a bummer for the rock.

Historical route. Not on my list of things to do, but, kinda siding with Greg Crouch on this one.

I'd be a bit bummed if I went to climb a classic wall or three here in the states and some kids chopped a bolt ladder on rappel after doing a variation off to the side (while still using some bolts and aid).

Smacks of a bit of elitism to me.
Alex C

Mountain climber
Cambridge
Jan 20, 2012 - 03:29pm PT
<Dolomite rock, typical Maestri's playground, is characterized by thin cracks where you place relatively thin pitons. Maybe Maestri was unfamiliar on granit and very familiar with bolt ladders, that for him to add bolts close to those cracks was not such a big deal. Now, the bolts close to the 5.7-5.9 cracks are considered a blasphemy, but not in Maestri's time. At least in my opinion.>

It sounds as though you're suggesting he didn't know how to protect granite hand cracks naturally so had to use bolts. Which is, frankly, bizarre.
Hawkeye

climber
State of Mine
Jan 20, 2012 - 03:31pm PT
kudos to their climb.

on the other hand, if they rapped of of some of the bolts while chopping others i wonder if they can spell hypocrisy?

does this also invalidate all other guys climbs of CT as the route was not fair....
philo

Trad climber
Somewhere halfway over the rainbow
Jan 20, 2012 - 03:32pm PT
Hawkeye, read the whole thread. It has been covered.
Mighty Hiker

climber
Vancouver, B.C.
Jan 20, 2012 - 03:33pm PT
IIRC, Maestri was/is a mountain guide, and quite an experienced one. What does his resume show about climbing the western Alps, which is much more granitic = wider cracks?

Also, he was in Patagonia in 1958 - 59, and whatever he did on Cerro Torre - getting part way to the "Col of Conquest", anyway - must have given him some experience on cracks. Twelve years later he'd surely added to it.

Whatever they may do there now, were cracks in the Alps bolted in 1958, or 1970?
Dingus Milktoast

Gym climber
And every fool knows, a dog needs a home, and...
Jan 20, 2012 - 03:34pm PT
Hypocrisy is no crime and not worth worrying over.

Cheers!
DMT
Ghost

climber
A long way from where I started
Jan 20, 2012 - 03:44pm PT
If I remember correctly, Maestri returned to Cerro Torre and put up the compressor route as a way of saying a great big "F*#k You!" to the climbing community -- a community which had expressed doubts about his claimed first ascent.

Which puts the whole chopping thing in a different perspective. If his "first ascent" had been legit, maybe one could sympathize with what he did on the compressor route. If, as now seems to bee the case, his "first ascent" was a lie, then why venerate his "F*#k You" response?

And, of course, no one expounding here really has any idea how many bolts were chopped. A couple as a symbolic gesture? Dozens? Hundreds?

Why not wait until you know?
deuce4

climber
Hobart, Australia
Jan 20, 2012 - 03:44pm PT
I always considered the Compressor Route as South America's finest "Nose-in-a-day" route... Perhaps it still is.

Though it all appears to be speculation at this point, a question arises--instead of "fair-means" climbing the Maestri line on the headwall then chopping it, I don't understand why they just didn't put in a bad-ass variant up somewhere else on the headwall? The headwall is wide and very featured, and the line Maestri picked for those final three pitches almost arbitrary. (edit: maybe they did--the details at this point are still unclear).

The Cerro Torre headwall bolt ladder is very much akin to the final bolt ladder on the Nose--sure, it could have been done originally in better style, but in both cases, the first ascentionists were simply ravenously drilling their final path to the summit. Yet there have been plenty of subsequent ascents on both the Nose and on Cerro Torre who had no complaint and were happy to clip those bolts!

To me, "fair-means" seems arbitrary if only applied to bolts used for upward progress. Belays are part of climbing too.
throwpie

Trad climber
Berkeley
Jan 20, 2012 - 03:48pm PT
Werner got it right.

When I learned the game in Yosemite, you started at the bottom and climbed to the top as cleanly as possible. Bolts were an excepted method of getting from crack to crack or creating a bomber anchor. Almost everyone knew when enough was enough. There was debate and limits were pushed for sure, but there were no top down pure bolt routes until the sport climbing eruption. Some bolt routes did exist, but they were put up on lead. The Compressor Route pushed it too far and the controversy started as soon as word was out. Chopping them? Fine. (they WERE placed on lead) But where do you stop? Sport climbing has its place for sure, and it opens up a lot of acreage that couldn't be enjoyed without bolts.

If it isn't placed on lead, it's glorified toproping. Toproping is great fun, but it's still toproping, not climbing. My geezerhood two cents.
Cor

climber
Colorado
Jan 20, 2012 - 04:50pm PT
a few thoughts...

comparing the compressor route with the nose - (bolts)
is like apples and oranges. they are very different.

the compressor has been considered a disgrace since it was put up,
the nose on the other hand is/was not...

sure people have climbed both. but they are very different.

i love patagonia, i got to summit fitz roy, what a magical place...
sure i would love to summit cerro torre. which route would i probably try?
the compressor...(cuz i am weak)
am i mad that it is gone?(if it really is) hell no!
it just means that i should have to try hard for the mighty peak, and not follow the tame yellow brick road. another words, sack up!

that compressor route did not fit in with the ethics of the area. never did, never will. if someone put a bolt ladder up the fitz roy, would i be upset? yep. would i want it removed? yep. it would tame the peak down to the everyman/women level. keep wild places & peaks (& climbs) wild!
if you are not ready, you are not ready. if the only way you could make it up the cerro torre is by a giant bolt ladder, then maybe you better wait until you have more skill.

it is like chipped holds...(for example) let's dumb it down to our level,
so we can actually send. and so everyone knows, bolts are fine, i am not against them. it's just that the compressor route was bad style.


cheers!
cory

mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Jan 20, 2012 - 05:09pm PT
Superpin, Cerro Torre's little brother.
laughingman

Mountain climber
Seattle WA
Jan 20, 2012 - 05:13pm PT
This thread is going to get very nasty overnight.

I knew the compressor route would in time be chopped in the name of good ethics. It might have been a good idea to ask the locals if chopping the route was ok, given the history and controversy behind the route.

Anyone know if they cut the 50 year old, 300lb gas-powered compressor drill off the top of the bolt ladder?
e9climbing.blogspot.com

Mountain climber
Alps (Euro trash )
Jan 20, 2012 - 05:20pm PT
As this old article (http://www.planetmountain.com/english/News/shownews1.lasso?l=2&keyid=35788); just came out with regards to a "vote" held in El Chalten some time ago, in this news article http://www.planetmountain.com/english/News/shownews1.lasso?l=2&keyid=39055);

I think we need to accept and respect that Jason and Hayden made an ethical judgement call after improving the style in witch the route was climbed and it meant chopping the bolts for them.

With reference to the "voting article" linked to above my opinion is that a bunch of climbers that happens to hang out in El Chalten can't possibly "vote" on a topic like this and expect some one that follows in better style to take orders from the "voting" few, that's insane. HK and Kruk made a ethical judgement call and chopped the bolts. In a sport where style matters that's there call and not ours to judge.

As style improves so do we need to improve our skills if we want to follow. That some one once decided to rape the mountain can never justify the action. It can't possibly be controversial to say that it was a bad call to bolt it in the first place.

We (the climbers) have a universal responsibility to preserve the mountains and not try and get up them by any available means even if it hurts our ego, plans and ambitions. In due time some one will get it right and its for us to make sure that that can happen for them.

The fact that style will be improved by future generations has virtually never been more obvious than in this case. They restored the mountain to its original condition and we live to play by the mountains rules not ours.

ps sorry for my poor English
climbnplay

climber
Jan 20, 2012 - 05:30pm PT
Surprisingly, Maestri agreed with the last part of Karo’s statement. In his 2000 Metri della Nostra Vita, Maestri recounts that, before making the first rappel from the high point of his attempt (he stopped 100 feet below the summit) he decided to, “take out all the bolts and leave the climb as clean as we found it. I’ll break them all.” After chopping 20 bolts, and in the face of the magnitude of the enterprise, Maestri changed his mind.

Maestri let his thirst overtake his judgement on the ascent and later regretted - BRAVO! on the team's effort to clean up after an irresponsible man who couldn't wipe his own ass.
Mighty Hiker

climber
Vancouver, B.C.
Jan 20, 2012 - 05:34pm PT
In pursuit of more facts...

How does the first route on Cerro Torre, that established by the Lecco Spiders in 1974, compare with what it seems was the former compressor/Maestri/(Bridwell) route? Has anyone done both, and if so, which is the harder/more committing/whatever?

Yes, the Spiders route has a longer approach and is more remote, and that one route is mostly rock, the other mostly snow/ice/snice. So it's apples and oranges. Still, would a climber who had the experience and skill to climb the compressor route generally be OK on the Spiders route, and vice versa?
Rockymaster

climber
Jan 20, 2012 - 05:40pm PT
I think they should have left the bolts as it was... the rock face was damaged already and if you want to clean up some mess remember that is going to look ever worse than before! I have been around up there... not impress with what they've done.
Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
Jan 20, 2012 - 05:49pm PT
> I always considered the Compressor Route as South America's finest "Nose-in-a-day" route... Perhaps it still is.

I believe that was Bridwell's attitude, when he and Steve Brewer used speed climbing type tactics to climb it in a typical short weather window.
I remember the Leo Dickinson film where they tried to repeat it using siege tactics, which did not work because their fixed ropes got ripped to shreds by the winds in between attempts.

But I agree with the intervening post that it doesn't equate to the Nose (or Wall of Early Morning Light, which is closer but still not the same).
Here are some of the reasons it doesn't equate to the Nose:
 route had already been tried in 1968 by Crew, et al
 power bolted
 extensive bolt ladders on an alpine climb

For that last point, I think of George Lowe's comment on North Twin.
Quoting him indirectly via Barry Blanchard:

"George knows that adventure lies in approaching an unclimbed steep mountain wall that is draped in glaciation, brazed with ice, and buttressed with soaring rock walls; and, and this is THE most important part: a rack, a rope, and the pack on your back ... no bolts."
http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.php?topic_id=890216&msg=891804#msg891804

For WoEML, that had been tried before, and Harding bolted rivet ladders up a different and indirect start.

Maybe the most interesting question is why wasn't it chopped earlier?
I guess partly because people had not proven that essentially the same route could be done without the bolt ladders.
Although people had proven that the West Face route could be done, it was not summited much until recent years, because people hadn't figured out how to make the rime slot.

Maybe another reason that it hadn't been chopped before was the somewhat negative reaction to the partial chopping of WoEML, at around the same time.

[Edit:] I think I understand why the incentive to chop has increased in recent years.
Originally, the route was essentially left as a reminder of Maestri's bad behavior. It's one of two ways to deal with a bad route - chop it, or leave it as a bad example and people laugh at it. But over time, people forgot and it because a dream climb for some. A more accessible and even "historic" way to a cool summit. Rather ironic.
The recent David Lama episodes, with 50-70 added bolts for cameramen, has made the continued tolerance of the old bolts even worse. They are treated like a license to bolt anything, for any reason, in the vicinity.
Time for a cleanup.
Rockymaster

climber
Jan 20, 2012 - 05:50pm PT
I totally agree with Laughingman and e9climbing.blogspot.com's post... when we have a vote in Chalten we said we wanted the bolts to be left to where they are now, climb a "new and clean" route beside it but you have no dice in saying or doing what you did... the mountain belongs to everybody and to nobody. What was done, was done and who this guys think they are to pulling bolts out of the wall?

Vicente, Tehuelche... much of this guys i think will agree ... leave it as it was!
Gregory Crouch

Social climber
Walnut Creek, California
Jan 20, 2012 - 05:53pm PT
Mighty Hiker, I've done 'em both... both hard, both committing, both fantastic experiences I absolutely treasure. Both drove me to the edge of what I could handle, both in different ways.
Pampero

Trad climber
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Jan 20, 2012 - 05:56pm PT
It was january 16th., 1965. If interested, here follows the real cronology and facts about the Compressor Route on Cerro Torre that began when with Fonrouge we were at the top of Cerro Fitz Roy via the Supercanaleta in the second absolute ascent of this mountain. Because this beatiful and exigent mountain merits the most from climbers we did it in alpine style, mostly in simulclimbing, without fixed ropes, siege attacks or artificial weaponry. Behind and below us the fantastic Cerro Torre in clear skies showed with brightness his beatifull icy shape. Time afterwards - I guess it was 1966 or 1967 - at a table of a bar in Buenos Aires with Douglas Haston, Mike Burke and (was there also Martin Boysen?) we were dreamming about giving a try Co. Torre thru the Southeast Ridge and our fingers traced an ideal line over the SE ridge of one of our Co. Torre's photos we took from Fitz Roy summit. Sometime after, Fonrouge joined the British team that arrived high in this line but misteriously stopped before the icy towers. Wonder how the famous expedition rawplug dissapear...? Don't know by sure, but I always remember the conversation I had with Fonrouge at home - and his decision - after our meeting with Haston and friends at the bar that we'll never use an spit. And I also said thst...to give a try to this empoisoned mountain by Maestri's 1959's claim was a nonsense having manny other virgen summits to make. Later, in january 1970 Maestri asked to meet us in Buenos Aires when he decided to make an attempt to the Southeast Ridge and looked for details of the line but didn't mention the use of a compressor and gave us the idea to try the climb by fair means. As it is known they didn't make the summit this time. Weeks after their return I was in Italy for business reasons and he invited me to Maddona were we spent some time talking about his programmed new intent to Cerro Torre in the following southamerican 1970 winter. No words were said about the use of a compressor for drilling holes to plug spits. Upon his return from patagonia having used the compressor and claiming for his new line on the SE ridge - and also mentionning that the top mushroom was not the true summit-, more doubts appeared about his 1959's line statements. Living for professional reasons in Milan-Italy, since late 1973, I had many contacts with the Ragni Group and got an idea about the national battle around Cerro Torre's Maestri claims at the time of his public statement directed to the Ragni Group saying that his climbs were discussed by whom couldn't climb Cerro Torre. Casimiro Ferrari's answer to Maestri was that the Ragni Group climbs mountains that can prove they climb and start to organize another attack to the west face of Torre. As we know today they made the true first ascent of the mountain. More recently Garibotti, Salvaterra and Beltrame proved that no one had transit before the line claimed by Maestri. In my name and the others that resign the dream to climb for first this fantastic mountain I claim for our rights to delete from the walls of Cerro Torre all the remainings - compressor inclusive - of the rape made by Maestri in the 70's and I think that no one - for any reason - can have more rigths than ours.
Carlos Comesaña
Gregory Crouch

Social climber
Walnut Creek, California
Jan 20, 2012 - 06:02pm PT
Carlos Comesaña and Jose Luis Fonrouge -- architects of one of the greatest climbs of all time. I tip my hat to you, sir. I once had the honor to shake Senor Fonrouge's hand. I hope I someday get the honor to shake yours.

(Even though I'm afraid I disagree with you on this topic. For which hopefully you'll forgive me :-) )
WBraun

climber
Jan 20, 2012 - 06:02pm PT
Actually Bridwell never really intended to do the compressor route back then.

He was looking for/at a complete independent line to the top to trump the Maestri compressor route.

There was some kind of mutiny on the his ship that happened for whatever reason.

The crew left and Jim was forced to salvage his trip down there by recruiting Brewer, .. an unplanned walk-on.

Thus Jim might just have done the same back then as the these guys today? (Pulled the bolts)

Pure mental speculation at this point?

Most people that were against pulling the bolts feel the Maestri route should have been "grandfathered in" ......

If he did go that route, pull the bolts back then, would there have been the same outrage?
deuce4

climber
Hobart, Australia
Jan 20, 2012 - 06:05pm PT
Clint-

When I equate the Compressor route with the Nose, it is not necessarily in regards to the original style, but rather in the end result.

Both routes are magnificent lines with magnificent position in magnificent places, each about 3000 feet long, and which can be easily climbed and descended in a day by experienced climbers.

Though regarding style: Harding and Maestri both "pushed" the boundaries of what was considered "fair means" of the day, though of course Maestri pushed it farther by bringing motorized tools to the mountains. (Plus Maestri's motives seemed rather negative, whereas Harding was fun and positive in the climbs he did).

Time will tell. I reckon the SE ridge of Cerro Torre will still end up as a fine day route, which appears to be Steve's concern (he's certainly not one to be slowed down by 5.11!). It sounds like it will be a notch or two higher in standard, but also that much more dependent on luckier weather windows.

And Cerro Torre is a peak where weather luck makes all the difference!

ps--Bridwell climbed the last part of the headwall without the original bolts--the last 30 feet or so, and it resulted in what was originally probably moderate A3 climbing (now A1 since it's all fixed with mashies and stuff). He essentially demonstrated that the headwall could be climbed by "fair-means" back then--though the headwall is not a place where bomber boltless belays would be common--but you could aid and/or free climb pretty much anywhere on the headwall without drilling--it's very featured).

pss--I often wonder why the same outrage Maestri received back then isn't applied to climbers who bring power drills to the mountains today. Same thing, really, just more compact technology. (Edit--for example,
http://books.google.com.au/books?id=aXRz6_EIAYQC&pg=PA284&lpg=PA284&dq=great+canadian+knife+bolts&source=bl&ots=FLI8rfTVbp&sig=t85PlzPlNT9b2jfqTLcc7d5Ir-4&hl=en&sa=X&ei=-TEbT67NNM60iQfsqpidCw&ved=0CCEQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=great%20canadian%20knife%20bolts&f=false
Gene

climber
Jan 20, 2012 - 06:08pm PT
For those who don’t know, Carlos Comesaña (Pampero above) made the FA of the Supercanaleta on FitzRoy and the second ascent of the mountain.

Thank you, Sir, for joining the discussion. It's great to have you here.

g
norm larson

climber
wilson, wyoming
Jan 20, 2012 - 06:09pm PT
Senor Comesena, Mucha gracias. It was only a matter of time before someone made an honorable ascent of the SE ridge. Maestri took that away from the climbers of that era.
ontheedgeandscaredtodeath

Trad climber
San Francisco, Ca
Jan 20, 2012 - 06:21pm PT
I don't think I'd approve of a team from Argentina chopping a controversial route in Yosemite. It seems a bit presumptuous to me to chop a route in a foreign country.

Nice job on the climb though.
Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
Jan 20, 2012 - 06:22pm PT
John,

Yes, they are both beautiful formations / lines!

Werner,

Maybe Bridwell would have chopped the bolts, if he had time.
He was in favor of chopping the WoEML, too - he was gonna do it, but Robbins wanted to check out the route first and promised to chop it, as Bridwell knew it might get too strong a vote for non-chopping if Robbins climbed it without chopping.
As it was, I think Jim and Steve were just trying to escape down the route with their lives.
The 130' whipper into the fog when Jim's borrowed sling parted indicated the adventure level, I think!
http://c498469.r69.cf2.rackcdn.com/1980/375_bridwell_cerrotorre_aaj1980.pdf
healyje

Trad climber
Portland, Oregon
Jan 20, 2012 - 06:22pm PT
...the rock face was damaged already and if you want to clean up some mess remember that is going to look ever worse than before!

The holes can be patched to near invisible both color- and texture-wise if the person doing the patching takes the time and really knows what they're doing. There is no reason on earth for it to look "worse than before".
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Jan 20, 2012 - 06:25pm PT
Maybe he was referring to it looking worse if someone decides this action was wrong and put up more bolts to the restore the route. I believe the threat hs already been made. Could be an endless cycle.
healyje

Trad climber
Portland, Oregon
Jan 20, 2012 - 06:30pm PT
Here's his full quote - pretty clear he's just talking about the chopping.

I think they should have left the bolts as it was... the rock face was damaged already and if you want to clean up some mess remember that is going to look ever worse than before! I have been around up there... not impress with what they've done.

Pretty out of date relative to the ins and outs of chopping / epoxying and doing it competently.
Gene

climber
Jan 20, 2012 - 07:11pm PT
I suspect that in a few years the bolt chopping by K & K on Maestri’s partial line will be viewed not as desecration or arrogance but simply raising the price of admission to an incredible summit.

Doesn’t K & K’s bolt chopping pale in comparison to what Maestri did, especially in light of the fact that the compressor route - which Maestri never completed - was meant to silence critics of his 1959 ascent claims? Maestri failed in both 1959 and 1970. What do we owe him or his bolts?
g
Levy

Big Wall climber
So Cal
Jan 20, 2012 - 07:16pm PT
So let me get this straight, If I go do a route in better style than the F.A. party by bypassing any bolts they placed on the route, I have the right to go and chop the bolts I bypassed?

How crazy is that logic? I did an onsight free solo of Snake Dike, can I now chop the bolts on it because I climbed the route "by fair means"? That is friggin stupid!

How about this analagy: since those amazing Brits did Bachar-Yerian with only the one bolt on the 3rd pitch, can the bolts on the first two pitches now be removed?

How about the Cables route on Half Dome. It certainly would be considered a desecration by modern consensus, yet it is the most popular route up Half Dome. Should those cables now be removed to make the top of Half Dome accesible to "more worthy climbers"?

Get over yourselves Hayden, Jason & Rolo. You are not the omniscient ones with all powerful knowledge. You just vandalized a route that was a big part of history. I have much respect for your previous ascents and the style they were done in but this is just wrong. Did Hayden & Jason remove every bolt on the Compressor Route? Or, did they just chop the top pitch/pitches so nobody can finish the route now via the bolt ladder? In my opinion, if they didn't chop the entire route, they just F-ed up a huge part of history.

Where does this madness end? The rock still suffered the effects of the drill, the holes are still there, what besides vandalizing the route did you accomplish. Shame on the two of them & anybody who condones this short-sighted deed of nefariousness.

Bill Leventhal
Pass the Chongo, Chongo

Social climber
camped on P3 of WOS
Jan 20, 2012 - 07:17pm PT
ALL SUMMITS MUST BE ATTAINED BY 5.12+ & A2 CLIMBING!!!!!!

NOTHING LESS OR YOUR A PUSSY NON ALPINIST CHUMP AND SHOULD STAY AT HOME!!




PTcc!!!!!!
Pass the Chongo, Chongo

Social climber
camped on P3 of WOS
Jan 20, 2012 - 07:19pm PT
ALSO ONLY BOLTS TOUCHED BY HAYDEN KENNEDY AND JASON KRUK WILL BE THOSE ALLOWED TO REMAIN ON ANY ROUTE!!!!!!!!!!! IF HK AND/OR JK DOES NOT NEED THE BOLTS, YOUR A PUSSY NON ALPINIST CHUMP END OF STORY!!!
ms55401

Trad climber
minneapolis, mn
Jan 20, 2012 - 07:20pm PT
funny shtt above, yo
Jennie

Trad climber
Elk Creek, Idaho
Jan 20, 2012 - 07:23pm PT
Every testosterone tilt deserves a tower. Photo by Edu Aresti.

tradmanclimbs

Ice climber
Pomfert VT
Jan 20, 2012 - 07:25pm PT
Think someone local should have done the job. The gentleman from argentina who is obviously someone very famous over there and wanted the rout chopped should have done the deed himself. It is just not right for anyone to go to annother country and tell them how to climb and chop routs that you do not agree with.
ms55401

Trad climber
minneapolis, mn
Jan 20, 2012 - 07:30pm PT
'mericans don't need to ask second-world bumpkins for anything
stefano607518

Trad climber
italy/austria/switzerland
Jan 20, 2012 - 07:48pm PT
You guys must be kiddin, donnow how is going to be or not to be in real but i must admit that this way of going, i did it free or by fair means...(plus adding some bolts more but beside it...) so I´ll chop it out... (clean the line) sound really childish and foolish.

I mean on the same way many old routes here in the dolomites now should be cleaned out from pitons and bolds...even i can climb some old routes from maestri made in the dolomites with extensive use of pressure pins.

would it then be right to clean them out???

Sorry guys but if i agree with the obvious fact than Maestri made his revenge by wrong means, i have to admit that this erasing of a piece of history from Co. Torre make me unconfortable.

Theb guys, (nice climb btw, chapeau) made a remarkable climb, but they oviously climbed an independent line....why then and in the name of what chop out the pins of a line on the side??? NEEDED SOME MORE WORKOUT???

Sh#t i do not know whether i can make my point here but in fact this sort of anarchy of chopping out deserve all my opposition (..and some from others i hope)

Anyhow guess we could soon find these pins and even the compressor itself on ebay.... typical and fair right???

WTF

somebody said "Cleaning up an anthropogenic mess is a great thing"...i do not agree here, any route can be considered like that by different eyes...
moreover somebody discussed and democratically voted to KEEP IT LIKE THAT..you guys did not respect this point

PS.what are you fighting whit we you climb you guys? yourself or the mountain?

Gretz from Europe
Randisi

Boulder climber
Dalian, Liaoning
Jan 20, 2012 - 08:30pm PT
Paul Preuss would think that Kruk and Kennedy were pansies!

Only a difference in degree from Maestri.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_Preuss_(climber);

http://www.supertopo.com/climbers-forum/999560/Paul-Preuss-Our-Founding-Father-Of-Style
guest

climber
Jan 20, 2012 - 08:38pm PT
Damn, we’re descending into a lot of ignorant comments. For example, the utterly irrelevant comparisons about chopping well-bolted, climbing-world accepted routes where maybe someone didn’t need to clip the bolts themselves (the Snake Dike example by Bill L most recently, but brought up by others as well). Such comparisons, of reasonably bolted routes, bear no relevance to the bolted-crack and bolt-ladder atrocity that is the Compressor Route. Interestingly, the most uninformed comments are often the most strongly stated as well.

Likewise, as I and others have explained ad nauseam, the “foreigner” thing isn’t so simple either. I think it's hard to forcefully say that foreigners are doing a horrible thing by chopping an abomination of bolts initially installed by a foreigner. Maestri wasn’t Argentine. He didn’t have “consent” to desecrate Cerro Torre like he did. At least consider this before blathering ignorantly as if it’s a route put-up by locals in some sort of accepted-for-the day standard (neither are true).

Let’s be clear: nobody who’s even remotely informed on the Compressor Route would claim that the 400+ bolts (installed by a foreigner, with no “local consent” or whatever) belonged, or that it was an even borderline acceptable route.

The only legit defense for the CR staying is “it’s already there, it’s a piece of history, leave it.” Some Argentines feel this way, some do not. Personally, I can see both sides, but I’m fine with it being chopped (not that my opinion matters); it’s an abomination, and we tear down lots of things that shouldn’t be there; I know, we also leave some standing – there is no definitive answer.

The random, uninformed spouting represents both the great thing and the unfortunate thing about the internet: anybody can chime in, regardless of how ill informed they may be. But it’s not a terrible idea to educate yourself about the topic before going off.
--Kelly
David Wilson

climber
CA
Jan 20, 2012 - 08:38pm PT
well, according to the logic at hand, the half dome cables should certainly be next to go.....they may need some demo skills for those.....
Norwegian

Trad climber
Placerville, California
Jan 20, 2012 - 08:50pm PT
our passage should go unnoticed among those mounts.

but our fear of change inhibits our purity.
maestri was pure afraid of dying. so he shot the place
foul of hole, to ensure his soul.

though really,
his soul was already consumed by fear.

death is his, boss.
and death defines many.

these fools flail wildly in all of their's pursuit.

we whom co-inherit death and life strive for purity of passage in
difficult realms.

the mounts are there, always receiving warriors and fools, alike.

they are beyond us. the mounts.
they are eternal.

but we, finite beings of soft flesh and vunerable systems
can exploit the high and cold and make less sense of their and of our world,

and according to this accepted confusion we've transcended the fear-mongers
whom murder every potential mystery with a submission of their spirit to god.
fsck

climber
Jan 20, 2012 - 08:52pm PT
brave young surgery
removing the vulgar scar
abusive lover

so, no more free rides
from inadequate suitors
or soulless lovers

we are so sorry
you have to try harder now
she's worth it, you know?
pimp daddy wayne

Gym climber
Manchester, VT
Jan 20, 2012 - 09:21pm PT
Awesome poem man!
dirhk

Trad climber
Jan 20, 2012 - 09:29pm PT
On the day Hayden and Jason skull f*#ked the torre, all you folks were probably working your desk job. They're living the dream- this internet banter is just so insignificant.
tradmanclimbs

Ice climber
Pomfert VT
Jan 20, 2012 - 09:34pm PT
Now that is a classy post......
WBraun

climber
Jan 20, 2012 - 09:46pm PT
All mortals are living in a dream, dirhik
tradmanclimbs

Ice climber
Pomfert VT
Jan 20, 2012 - 09:53pm PT
kelly. I have no real right to judge the rout one way or annother. Never been there. Some make it sound as though it is still fairly well protected even without the drilled pins. With only that to go on with the story of the seige with the compressor it is very easy to condem the route from my armchair. On the otherhand I have no idea what the rout means to those who actually live in Argentina? If they really felt that it needed to go they could have and should have done something about it. You can not compare putting up new routs in forgin countrys to chopping old routes in other folks back yards.
I feel that this is a terrible precident to set. No one argues that Sadam Hussin was not a bad dictator yet most of the world felt pretty strongly that the USA should not have invaded Iraq to get rid of him.
The idea that just because you have the might gives you the right to go anywhere in the world and chop a route that you do not agree with is quite disturbing INMOP.
guest

climber
Jan 20, 2012 - 10:20pm PT
Some good points, tradman, thanks. First, I feel fully confident saying that, indeed, the route takes very good natural pro almost the whole way -- I've only rapped down it, and I was pretty exahausted (climbed up a different way), but I remember being like, "Whoa. Holy sh#t. This is insane!" Had an odd admiration for Maestri's lunatic fringe obsession -- it's hard to imagine unless ya've seen it.

But more to your points -- kinda like two wrongs don't make a right, perhaps? Fair enough. I will say, though, that it's also interesting how we (not just based on your post, but something I've observed a lot over the years) seem to view installing bolts as OK, but removing them as not OK. How does that make sense? Like, I mean, drilling a hole and making a permanent alteration is every bit as much an act of violence (not trying to overdo it; I clip bolts all the time, just saying that it's definitely an invasive act) as removing it, no? Why do we seem to accept placing them, but not removing them when called for? For the record, I've never removed/chopped a bolt, and I've placed two bolts in my life. So I'm really not coming at this particular point from a personal bias standpoint; it's just curious to me. Thanks, Kelly
bhilden

Trad climber
Mountain View, CA
Jan 20, 2012 - 10:22pm PT
What I think it very pertinent to this discussion is that in 2007 a meeting was held at the Los Glacieres National Park Visitor Center in El Chalten to discuss what should be done with the bolts on the Compressor routes. Not only were forty climbers from nine different countries present at the meeting, but also the chief ranger for the area and the secretary and president of the local Andean climbing club.

30 of the 40 climbers(75%) voted to keep the bolts on the Compressor route.

Here is a link to the details of the 2007 meeting and vote:

http://www.planetmountain.com/english/News/shownews1.lasso?l=2&keyid=35788
Kimbo

Boulder climber
seattle
Jan 20, 2012 - 10:37pm PT
bhilden hits it.

Twas an arrogant act that can only be forgiven by the youth of the kids involved.

Now for the rest of you....
Kimbo

Boulder climber
seattle
Jan 20, 2012 - 10:43pm PT
I can't help but think of the effect this might have on the locals' business dependence on gringo thrill-seekers?

Whitey comes rolling into town, thinking he, always "he", knows what's best for the area in question, without bothering to consult the local populace that actually lives there.

Another neo-colonialist adventure, masquerading as an "ethical" maneuver.

I think the locals have had enough of whitey's "ethics".
ionlyski

Trad climber
Kalispell, Montana
Jan 20, 2012 - 10:50pm PT
So cool that they chopped it. And awesome to see all the panty wringing over it too.

To the post upthread with the insinuation they just did a route in better style so felt privileged to chop it, that is complete shallow thinking on your part. These guys are going around doing every route they do in better style. Do you see them out chopping all the routes they climb? No. The compressor route was completely outlandish in it's time then and still is. It was a one of a kind; a no brainer. Nobody liked Maestri doing that. I have never heard a positive remark about Maestris style when he went to war with that rock. It should have been chopped a long time ago.

Thanks Hayden and Jason,

Arne Boveng
Randisi

Boulder climber
Dalian, Liaoning
Jan 20, 2012 - 10:52pm PT
Curious about Donini's thoughts.

He must we away from the Internet.
philo

Trad climber
Somewhere halfway over the rainbow
Jan 20, 2012 - 10:55pm PT
So "whitey" can grid bolt the planet without permision but environmental restoration is colonialism.
R
I
G
H
T
!
!
!
Drill Baby Drill


Just take another look at the pic a few pages back, do those all have to stay?
R
E
A
L
L
Y
?
?
?

Sometimes it seems to me that the uber-advocates of bolting are as dogmatically fixed as NeoConservative Tea Partiers.
Hey maybe Sarah Palin want'd to summit ST. Now what will she do?
BlackSpider

Ice climber
Jan 20, 2012 - 11:46pm PT
If this route was littered with fixed ropes that had been left up after an ascent that didn't even reach the summit and someone went up and chopped them all, would there be a huge outcry? If not, what makes bolts so much different as to be inviolate?
schnaxlmeister

Mountain climber
Canmore, Alberta
Jan 20, 2012 - 11:50pm PT
I guess I am one of the few who disagree with the chopping of Maestris bolts. Although I have deep respect for Jason's and Hayden's accomplishment and I think it is a step forward in style, I do believe that there is a place for Maestri's Komressorroute. A big piece of history (maybe a bad one) indeed, and a testimony of human will power. Who are we to decide what was a good or a bad style those days, which route comes next? I just returned from a road trip to the States- are we now going to chop the bold ladders on Moonlight buttress, the Nose or the Grand Wall in Squamish, just to name a few. Those routes have all been freed long time ago, with new bolts added to climb variations (like on Cerro Torre) and nobody dared to rappel the original line afterwards to chop the bolts.
On Moonlight Buttress I was free climbing while passing a party who was entirely aiding the route with big haulbags and portaledges. The grin on their faces and the stoke in their eyes convinced me once again that a route can be climbed in many different ways, and still be fun and challenging to everyone. Jason and Hayden, as someone who has climbed the Compressor route in the early nineties, I want to tell you that at that time it was one of my deepest experiences I ever had, and with chopping the line you robbed this chance for future potential aspirants.
And to Rolo, all my respect goes out to you, don't take this wrong, it's just a different opinion. The great Silvo Karo (you praise and quote earlier) and partners put up 2 wild lines on the south and east face, both end up at the base of the headwall of the Comressorroute, so both are basically variations of the so much criticized Maestri Route. Furthermore, both used extensive aid climbing with fixed ropes over a long period of time and a much later era. And did you not use Maestris bolts on you way down from you grand traverse of the 3 Torres?
Although Everest got alredy climbed without oxygen in 78, the majority of climbers still use it in order to climb the highest peak in the world and have a life time experience. Although I don't support the style and I would never attempt to climb it that way, I don't think we should shut down the mountain for Oxygen users.
On a different note, thanks to all the climbers who where involved in the rescue/recovery attempt of Carlyle, you guys rock!

rincon

Trad climber
SoCal
Jan 20, 2012 - 11:50pm PT
I think it's bad for Americans to be chopping routes in other countries as if they own the place. I don't think tourists have the right to chop bolts here.
BlackSpider

Ice climber
Jan 20, 2012 - 11:53pm PT
I think it's bad for Italians to be bolting routes in other countries as if they own the place.
Jennie

Trad climber
Elk Creek, Idaho
Jan 21, 2012 - 12:12am PT
In a sense, Italians do own Argentina. Half of the country's population are of Italian heritage.

I'm not sure how Argentinians feel about U.S. and Canadian climbers...but most Argentines are descended from colonial-era settlers and of the 19th and 20th century immigrants from Europe, and 86.4% of Argentina’s population self-identify as White-European descent. An estimated 8% of the population is mestizo, and a further 4% of Argentines were of Arab or East Asian heritage. In the last national census, based on self-identification, 600,000 Argentines (1.6%) declared to be Amerindians.
MarkWestman

Trad climber
Talkeetna, Alaska
Jan 21, 2012 - 12:16am PT
Not defending the Maestri route in any way, but noting some hyperbole here.

One would be lead to believe by a few postings here that the Maestri route's bolt ladders enabled throngs of unskilled and inexperienced climbers easy passage to the Torre's summit. Which climbers would those be? I seem to recall the 1980's and 1990's, and even some of the more recent, list of successful ascents being a who's-who of modern alpinism. Moreover, in five trips to the area I don't recall coming across guided teams aiming for the Torre much less gumbies thinking they could sneak the Torre by clipping up bolts.

The route's bolt ladders comprised only a portion of 25 pitches of steep, moderately difficult technical terrain that had to be negotiated very quickly and efficiently to have any reasonable chance of success-bolts or not. No apologies for Maestri's travesty but the implication that "non-alpinists" could, or often did, easily ascend this route isn't altogether true.

What's done is done. I sympathize on some level with the leave-it-be sentiment and I'm certainly not a proponent of chopping routes because top climbers found a way to avoid using the fixed gear- but perhaps this route, vilified from the beginning, has been a sacrifice waiting to happen for 40 years. I think it would be helpful also to withhold judgment on Jason and Hayden's motives until we hear them speak, which they undoubtedly will.

FWIW, my only attempt on Cerro Torre went for the Ragni route, because the Compressor's bolt ladders and heavy traffic during the rare weather windows held no interest to me compared to the remote and surreal ice climbing on the wild wilderness of the west face. We had a hell of an adventure but got bouted by winds 70 meters from the summit. It stands right now as the longest journey I will have to make to do but 2 more pitches of climbing.

Carry on-



Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
Jan 21, 2012 - 12:33am PT
> The route's bolt ladders comprised only a portion of 25 pitches ...

8 of the 15 pitches Maestri established were bolt ladders.

Topo: http://pataclimb.com/images/climbingareas/chalten/torres/topos/torre/compressor1.gif
MarkWestman

Trad climber
Talkeetna, Alaska
Jan 21, 2012 - 12:47am PT
Hey Clint- again, I'm not in any way downplaying Maestri's poor style.

Actually looking at the detailed hand drawn topo Dave Nettle gave me, it shows 9 out of 22 pitches having bolt ladders. The first 9 or so pitches had been climbed in 1968 I believe. In any case my point was that the route has enough real climbing beyond the bolt ladders, plus the approach and the need to go fast due to short windows in weather, that I don't think it is quite accurate to infer it was a route that any weekend warrior or unseasoned alpinist could go 'bag'. I know a few very good climbers who have gotten fairly worked on it and not necessarily because of the weather.

That's all.
Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
Jan 21, 2012 - 01:01am PT
I agree - it looks like there are plenty of challenging pitches (20/27) - not a complete clip-up / via ferrata.
Now there are more like 27/27 challenging pitches....

Probably some people will reach the headwall a bit slower without the bolt ladders, the weather window will have closed or they will realize it will close before they can free/aid the headwall pitches. They may be bummed out, or maybe they will feel it's OK because they didn't want to climb the bolt ladders anyway.
Mighty Hiker

climber
Vancouver, B.C.
Jan 21, 2012 - 01:04am PT
Does anyone know when Jason and Hayden will be back, and perhaps able to post a first-hand account of what they did - here or elsewhere? (Bearing in mind that it may have commercial value...)

We have Rolando Garibotti's report (the first post), and the post to Colin Haley's FaceBook site. Colin seems to have been an eyewitness, from a distance; Rolo doesn't say whether he was a witness, or if his information is from another source, or even Colin. Did anyone clearly see what Jason and Hayden did, or talk to them later about it? What are the sources?

Hard information is important as a basis for intelligent discussion.

rolo: Here are the facts:
 Hayden Kennedy and Jason Kruk made a very fast ascent (13 hours from the Col of Patience to the top) of the SE ridge of Cerro Torre on what for sometime we have been calling "fair means" style, which implies not using Maestri's insane bolt ladders. We presume they used some of Maestri's belays but in pitches only clipped 5 bolts, four placed by Ermanno Salvaterra on his 1999 variation and one placed by Chris Geisler on his and Jason's variations last season.
 They followed an identical line to the one climbed by Chris and Jason last year, making a pendulum left in Chris's last pitch, to connect a number of discontinuous features over three short pitches to reach the top (5.11+ and A2) .
 During the descent they chopped a good portion of the Compressor route, including the entire headwall and one of the pitches below. The Compressor route is no more.

Haley: "BIG NEWS: Although Jorge and I unfortunately fluffed this weather window, today we got to watch history being made through a Canon G12 zoom lens at Norwegos: Hayden Kennedy and Jason Kruk made the first fair-means ascent of the SE Ridge of Cerro Torre. Although I'm not 100% sure about the details, I think they took about 13 hours to the summit from a bivy at the shoulder, which is amazingly fast considering the terrain. The speed with which they navigated virgin ground on the upper headwall is certainly testament to Hayden's great skills on rock. Bravo! They might be in the mountains several more days (more good weather coming), but I'm sure we'll hear the details soon!"

Once there is full information about what Jason and Hayden actually did, perhaps I'll comment.

On a side note, it might be difficult to fill whatever holes have been left. The headwall is by all accounts a place that's often stormy, wet, and icy. Challenging conditions.
Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Jan 21, 2012 - 01:16am PT
Who are we to decide what was a good or a bad style those days, which route comes next?



Answer: The two climbers who just free climbed the thing. They didn't ask for my permission, and I hope they would consider our opinions about them none of their business. That's how you have to think if you're forging new worlds.

The parade has already passed by the ones of us who wonder. To those out on the thin end of the wedge, it's not a matter of right or wrong. It's always a matter of: Can I do this. And if I can, I will. No complaining and no explaining. That's for the rest of us - looking at the ass end of the parade, slowly receeding . . .

JL
bhilden

Trad climber
Mountain View, CA
Jan 21, 2012 - 02:16am PT
John,

I don't know if it changes your answer, but as a bit of a clarification the guys on Cerro Torre didn't free climb the Compressor Route. Their route still has aid up to A2. They just found a way around using Maestri's bolts. Does that change your response?
enzolino

climber
Galgenen, Switzerland
Jan 21, 2012 - 02:17am PT
I understand that for some people it hurts to compare the Compressor route to their national toy: the Nose. But in both cases Harding and Maestri were violating the dominant ethics of the time. In both cases their achievement was an expression of human willpower, stubborness, rebellion, anarchy and outrageousness. Most climbers support the purest ethics, but we also need these outstanding characters and their routes are, we like it or not, a monument of less collectively accepted behaviors.

The Italian-American-Argentinian Rolando Garibotti always heavily and unfairly criticized the Maestri "ferrata", which for most climbers is still a super-challenging route. He carried on a systematic anti-Maestri propaganda suggesting implicitely or explicitely to "purify" the Compressor route. But he was smart enough. He didn't have the courage to expose himself, but "sent" two indoctrinated boys to do the dirty job.

This shows something to me. That climbing ethics is a no man's land. That anybody can go in a different country and play the policeman to arbitrarily bolt or chop historical routes. If argentinians would have done it would have been more acceptable. Now, I'll see how much bolts these two guys removed from the Compressor route. And I hope they are consistent and brave enough to do it in their own country, possibly starting from the Nose. If this is not the case, I'll adopt myself their arbitrary attitude and I'll do everything possible to carry on their mission. This is a promise.
Kinobi

climber
Jan 21, 2012 - 02:26am PT
Let me tell you my non american point of view.
I apologize for my english.

In my apionion, you americans are not getting the point how arrongant you can be. In general, non in the mountains. As a country that represent citizens.

Don't you like Saddami Husssein: bomb Iraq and kill thousands of people. And leave a mess.
DOn't you like Afganistan: go there an bomb all. And leave a mess.
Don't you like Panama: bomb the towns. And control all.
Don't you like Grenada: Invade them... And control all.
I can go on for hours.
What's next, Iran?

Whatever it was right to chop, or leave there, the compression bolts at their choice, I think everybody could have decided, but not americans.
Best
Emanuele
Greg Barnes

climber
Jan 21, 2012 - 02:35am PT
In my apionion, you americans are not getting the point how arrongant you can be.
Don't equate the criminal actions of the US as a global superpower with dumb little arguments over a few pieces of metal on some rock. The victims of US aggression number in the millions and a single life is so much more important than some bolts in a rock...

Do you think all Italians wanted to join the Axis? I seem to remember stories of more than a few Italian soldiers welcoming Allied troops because they'd been against joining with Germany all along.

There are more Americans against US foreign policy than there are Italians in total.
Kinobi

climber
Jan 21, 2012 - 02:36am PT
Man-tana: you see, you are not getting the point.

You americans believe you are always right and you can do whatever you want whenever you want, wherever you want.
Bolts, money or bombs.
Leave, you americans once in a lifetime, somebody else in this world, the right to decide.
Ciao,
E

bmacd

Mountain climber
100% Canadian
Jan 21, 2012 - 02:40am PT
it was a Canadian driving the bus you myoptic Knob !
stefano607518

Trad climber
italy/austria/switzerland
Jan 21, 2012 - 02:42am PT
wow Emanuele,
do not be so extreme...
one of the guy is canadian anyway....

all i want to state here is that i think that the next will be the nose.

promised (even if a climb another route close to it by fair ...is aided climb fair??? means)

S.
stefano607518

Trad climber
italy/austria/switzerland
Jan 21, 2012 - 02:44am PT
ehy kinoby you are off topic...and it´s getting silly and useless.
It´s even a bit dumb your position i must say ;-)
Brady

climber
Boulder, CO
Jan 21, 2012 - 02:46am PT
Jimmy Chin and I tried to climb the Compressor Route in 2001. We got up to the shoulder and did some character building in an ice cave but never got a window for an attempt. So we spent the better part of a month carrying gear around, slack lining and hanging out with John Bragg in Campo Bridwell. John was down for a solo attempt on Fitz Roy but suffered from the same lack of good weather. We were honored to hang out with him, but there was one problem. He kept calling our route the “bolt route”, refused to call it anything else and couldn’t understand why anyone would want to climb it. This initially harshed on our buzz and later caused us to question our intentions. During our last few days I eyed the direct route up to the col de Esperanza and decided if I were ever to return I would attempt the Ferarri (Ragni) route. I just couldn’t get “bolt route” out of my mind. I’ve stood on top of Fitz Roy twice but never returned for another round on Cerro Torre. I’ve largely given up alpinism for various reasons, but I still think about Cerro Torre and long for one more go on it. If I were to do one more alpine trip, that would be it.

I’m not entirely comfortable with what Jason and Hayden did, for reasons that have been well documented above. Then again I didn’t initially like John Bragg’s opinion of our route of choice either, but I came around and began dreaming of climbing one of the world’s greatest mountains by fair means. In spite of all the self-righteousness in this thread, the removal of the Maestri bolts was morally ambiguous and always will be.
bhilden

Trad climber
Mountain View, CA
Jan 21, 2012 - 04:29am PT
FYI, Hayden Kennedy is the son of Michael Kennedy long time editor of Climbing magazine and now Editor-in-Chief of Alpinist. I wonder what his feelings are about the chopping of the Compressor Route?
New Age II

climber
Jan 21, 2012 - 05:21am PT
I see no difference between the Nose and the way the compressor .... on both the streets there are people that go up in the stirrups and people (the Nose) that have done it for free ... but Lynn Hill did not controversy, saying unrivet, everything that does not serve on the Nose ... maybe this year will unrivet Rolo in the Nose ... of course, must do so for free. :-))
Excuse my English .... SALUT
healyje

Trad climber
Portland, Oregon
Jan 21, 2012 - 06:29am PT
Who are we to decide what was a good or a bad style those days...

Largo covered the essentials in his response, but it should be noted there are plenty of older folks here who know exactly what was good or bad style in those days and if you dig around on google you will find many of them expressed their displeasure with Maestri's debacle in writing at the time.

Also, 'history' is a decidedly low bar which includes the worst of who we are along with the best and in this case one person's 'history' is another's stain to be removed at the earliest opportunity. Some history we're saddled with, like Jardine's chiseled traverse, and there's little to be done about it, but Maestri's debacle has never been that as the bolts are easily rectified and could have been cleaned up at any time. Definitely a case of better late than never from my perspective.
tradmanclimbs

Ice climber
Pomfert VT
Jan 21, 2012 - 07:43am PT
Funny how most of us americans can not hear it when forigners tell us how arogant we are. we simply tell them they are off topic..
Scole

Trad climber
San Diego
Jan 21, 2012 - 07:53am PT
I think they forgot to take this with them.
Photo by Walt Shipley
Photo by Walt Shipley
Credit: Scole
Rockymaster

climber
Jan 21, 2012 - 08:38am PT
FOR ALL OF YOU POSTING A REPLYING HERE... DOES ANYONE LIVES IN CHALTEN??!

I DO,and the feeling donw here is pretty much the same as when David Lama left all the trash up there and the they returned fully ashamed to what they did...

THESE GUYS, ALTHOUGH THEIR CLIMB WAS GREAT, SHOULD DO THE SAME;

For those of you that climbed and been in the Chalten area wouldn't even think about of doing something as silly as like these guys did.

WHAT's DONE IS DONE, LEAVE HISTORY AND THE MOUNTAIN IN PEACE...
gimmeslack

Trad climber
VA
Jan 21, 2012 - 08:46am PT
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pGlnBaqC6kw
ezy

Mountain climber
padova
Jan 21, 2012 - 09:08am PT
Sorry for my poor language.

I agree with the views of Enzolino, Kinobi, fòradaiball, New AgeII.

We do not know exactly what happened and the details of the great performance of Hayden Kennedy and Jason Kruk but if what I read about the wipeout of the Compressor Route is true not only my strongest critics, but the need to open a wide debate involving the public throughout the mountaineering community.

The style and motivation of Cesare Maestri that can be defined in many ways indefensible but which are part of that anarchy inherent in going to the mountains and has always been inherent in climbing.

And precisely because of this anarchy, this freedom, we should not criticize - just to stay on Torre Egger and Cerro Torre - on the routes 'construction site' more open seasons, or those made entirely from the fixed ropes on the compressor, as well as on the aluminum box.

But criticizing Maestri destroying his route means step into his own defects. With no action because Taliban historicizes, with ignorance, historical and human context in which the events took place in 1970.

Because does not reflect the opinion of the mountaineering community as it did in 2007 thanks to the local climbers led by Vicente Labate
http://www.planetmountain.com/english/News/shownews1.lasso?l=2&keyid=35788

Because hypocritically takes away the bolt from Compressor route and other uses in their route variation

I think that as these events were held on climbing and do not make it offends the memory of great climbers, not only to teachers but Steve Brewer and Jim Bridwell, Bill Denz, Paul Pierre Farges, the Italians of the first winter, Pedrini, Reinhard Karl and hundreds of other great climbers ...

The boundary that lies between tradition and innovation, modernity and the past experience is weak, and a strict ethical judgments, however, should not excuse ourselves from than ever, mountaineering and human, towards those who went before us.

grazie a tutti

http://alpinesketches.wordpress.com/

philo

Trad climber
Somewhere halfway over the rainbow
Jan 21, 2012 - 09:28am PT
It is funny that I did not see this much outrage from Internationals when David Lama was going to rap bolt the thing and left all his heavy stuff behind. Hmmm???????.

The real "disrespect to those that came before" was Maestri's.
He took his own, his partners and his country's exceptionally proud history of alpinism and left a steaming coiler on it for the whole world to see. So, NOW, what if there is a more logical route instead? A route synergistically connected to the mountain not imposed upon it. A route with a more appropriate number of bolts. I think that is a good thing. The cleaning down of the Bolt Route was not a disrespect to the great heritage that came before. It was a tribute to it. Maybe now Toni can rest in peace.



Personally I think it would be awesome if some near future team had the strength, temerity and where with all to lower the Compressor down carefully. Put that in a museum and salute it. Sadly it will probably just get chopped by man or mountain and end up as shrapnel all over the place.
gimmeslack

Trad climber
VA
Jan 21, 2012 - 10:00am PT
As best as I can tell:
//You're wrong, dear one wire, it will be fun to see your reaction when climbing the Nose and other emblems of American will disappear, because of your arrogance, but this bitch in the censer. In addition to the damage, but the prank .... but it is only begun, for you I would not be very quiet. Before the Masters no one has gone up, the others are American stories, and are good for any child at bedtime.
With your system, anyone can get on any route in the U.S., using less material is fixed to those who have preceded him, is authorized to remove anything that is not used, it seems logical.
The fact bring up Toni Egger, in this context, it shows the stupidity of those who do not know what to invent, to divert attention from the bravado of his brothers.
If it is true that every action has a reaction, you will have many surprises, good luck.
For your comments, you only have to be ashamed.//
BlackSpider

Ice climber
Jan 21, 2012 - 10:07am PT
These threats to chop The Nose and other El Cap routes are kind of funny. I guess the people posting them don't realize how easy it would be to re-establish any of the routes in question. But go ahead I suppose.

Actually, for enzolino and others claiming they will do this, I've got a better idea for you. Chop the bolts/rivets on a route called "Nightmare on California Street". You should be able to easily get up most of the route from the ground, and then you can chop it on the way down. That would be harder to fix than The Nose...
philo

Trad climber
Somewhere halfway over the rainbow
Jan 21, 2012 - 10:12am PT
Yeah we know you Italians Love your Ceasars.
Butt don't get your pasta in a pinch.
You have my permission to haul compressors all over ElCrap if you want and pull or chop what ever isn't necessary. There, feel better?
ALPINEMAN

Trad climber
bogota
Jan 21, 2012 - 10:25am PT
The fact that Kruk/Kennedy have acted for cleaning away but have "failed" even their (they clipped bolts, 5 sure)

In previous attempt (2011) the same Kruk should not even start with the bolt kit if they speak of "by fair means" on a "via ferrata"

5 bolts instead of 300 bolts, the concept is the same
bergbryce

Mountain climber
South Lake Tahoe, CA
Jan 21, 2012 - 10:37am PT
Has anyone thought maybe we should wait until we actually know what has been accomplished/chopped before making too many rash judgements??

Do we actually know definitively what has been chopped??
ALPINEMAN

Trad climber
bogota
Jan 21, 2012 - 10:52am PT
100 bolts
Luca Signorelli

Mountain climber
Courmayeur (Vda) Italy
Jan 21, 2012 - 10:55am PT
I wanted to stay out from this thread, particularly because I don't see whatever merit may have a shouting match about the celebration of what sounds like (from my very un-informed point of view) an act of vandalism belittling one of the greatest climbing feat ever. But when I read lines like "We know you Italians all love Maestri", I simply lose it (particularly as it sounds like "We know you Italians cannot judge for yourselves and you've have to resort to national pride when things go bad")

And so: no, the overwhelming majority of "us" Italians doesn't love Maestri. In fact, the overwhelming majority simply doesn't know who Cesare Maestri is (or was). The rest is divided into a larger camp of people who hates him (for various reasons) and a minority who recognize him as a controversial character but also one of the greatest rock climbers produced by the Dolomites scene.

It's no secret (except for those in bad faith, or those who are very poorly informed) that there's very little love lost between Maestri and a lot of Italian climbers (particularly on his own home turf). In part because Maestri used to be genuinely difficult to deal with (brash, arrogant, often rude and almost impossibly un-PC), in part because of jealousy, and in part because (I've been told) of reasons that have nothing to do with climbing. And there's a lot of people who would simply dance on Maestri's grave and is looking forward to see him be publicly humiliated. Personally, I don't like people being lynched if there's no apparent good reasons for the lynching, but I suspect that if so many people seem to dislike his (former) ways, he must have done something to put himself in trouble.

But the problem his - that's EXACTLY what happened to Bonatti or Claudio Corti... they got publicly humiliated by people who thought they knew better. And with time, it was recognized their accuser were wrong, and had acted for ignorance, malice and stupidity. Are we not sure we're doing the same mistake? It's quite clear for anyone who hasn't lived in Mars for the last 10 years that Garibotti doesn't like Maestri, but it's a personal dislike enough to justify something that's becoming alarmingly like a persecution?

As for the Compressor Route, I don't know. The all free climb is definitely a great climbing feat, but the chopping makes me VERY uneasy. Never been to Patagonia myself, but all the people I know who climbed it are all singing praises to its quality, bolts or not. And my understanding was that the local community had voted AGAINST the chopping, has this changed?

The threat to chop bolts on El Cap is of course absurd, but still - why at the same time doing the same thing on the Compressor Route is fair enough? Because of the nationality of those involved? Because Patagonia is not the US and it's remote enough so people can act there at their whim? But if chopping a route that's there since 40 years is ok, why shouldn't be ok to do the same on El Cap on routes that are now climbed free?

NOTE ONE: I'm not replying nonsense mentioning my nationality in relation to Maestri. It's stupid, rude, untrue and well below the standards of Supertopo as I knew it. Ok?

NOTE TWO: To fellow Italians posting here: please behave yourselves, and refrain to write here idiotic threats (or simply, try putting your words in the right context)
BlackSpider

Ice climber
Jan 21, 2012 - 11:02am PT
"The threat to chop bolts on El Cap is of course absurd, but still - why at the same time doing the same thing on the Compressor Route is fair enough? Because of the nationality of those involved? Because Patagonia is not the US and it's remote enough so people can act there at their whim? But if chopping a route that's there since 40 years is ok, why shouldn't be ok to do the same on El Cap on routes that are now climbed free?"

Plenty of climbers, such as Jim Beyer and Mark Twight, would argue there is no difference and that one has an equal right to chop bolts as to place them. So if someone wants to chop a route on El Cap (as Beyer did with the WOEML when he put up Martyr's Brigade) they should just go ahead and do it, and be prepared to hear/deal with any backlash (as well as recognize that if it's a route people care about climbing, it will undoubtedly get re-established quite quickly).
ALPINEMAN

Trad climber
bogota
Jan 21, 2012 - 11:04am PT
As for the Compressor Route, I don't know. The all free climb is definitely a great climbing feat

what???

A2... not free climb

and other line bolted!

ALPINEMAN

Trad climber
bogota
Jan 21, 2012 - 11:06am PT
Credit: ALPINEMAN

101 little hold for David Lama :-)
New Age II

climber
Jan 21, 2012 - 11:33am PT
They could start to clean the base of the tower ..... as it is full of coils of fixed ropes hung almost everywhere ...! And then ... the 2 young people from where they are dropped from the hill of patience? Stops by to spit that take you faster to the glacier? Or they have made back the mixed part ...??
Johnny K.

climber
Jan 21, 2012 - 11:37am PT
Someone should make a movie about the history of "The bolt route".

Kinobi

climber
Jan 21, 2012 - 11:43am PT
For my fellow citizens writing in Italian.
We are showing the same attitude americans show outside their borders: they assume anybody speak their language, they assume everybody understand and they assume everybody agreed with them. We are in a foreign forum, so we are guest. We need to cool down, and keep in mind, we are "guest".

With reference to:
"Funny how most of us americans can not hear it when forigners tell us how arogant we are. we simply tell them they are off topic.."

I would suggest, to most of americans (in general) to sit down outside their country anywhere (anytime) and start listening what people say about them. It will be surprising.
You guys are being hated anywhere. It looks like americans are becoming proud to be hated.
Fair for me, if you are happy.

Ciao,
E
New Age II

climber
Jan 21, 2012 - 11:45am PT
Not all Italians voted Berlusconi ...
nopantsben

climber
Jan 21, 2012 - 11:46am PT
It is funny that I did not see this much outrage from Internationals when David Lama was going to rap bolt the thing and left all his heavy stuff behind. Hmmm???????.
the internationals? philo - you americans are as much internationals as italian people when it comes to patagonia.

americans like you seem to have trouble to understand that they do not own every country that they don't consider on the same level of development as the us.

it's your arrogance that makes people mad.


tarek

climber
berkeley
Jan 21, 2012 - 11:49am PT
I don't know a thing about this stuff, would probably put some crampons on backwards, so I guess that gives me a right to chime in.

--people imply that the bolts were next to perfect cracks--this doesn't make sense, if the grade changes as it seems to have done. Explanation?

--if some megabadasses decide that no metal should ever remain in Cerro Torre, and that only a base jump retreat is appropriate (after demonstrating such), I assume the current pro-choppers would go along with that program. (?)

--can the anti-choppers envision unique rules that might apply to one mountain? A consistent logic in climbing might work within an area/collection of areas, but seems out of reach--maybe even inappropriate--for the globe.
Luca Signorelli

Mountain climber
Courmayeur (Vda) Italy
Jan 21, 2012 - 11:50am PT
@Coz

Hi Scott, thanks for that, anyway, I don't think it's a matter of nationality, I've found supportive and good-natured climber almost everywhere and with every type of passport, and I've also met few bad apples everywhere (including Italy).

Some of my best friends (and some of the people I admire more) are from the US, and some of the people I despise more are born in Italy in my same city.
BlackSpider

Ice climber
Jan 21, 2012 - 11:52am PT
Not really sure what nationality has to do with any of this. You don't need to show your passport to drill a bolt, nor to chop one.
Kinobi

climber
Jan 21, 2012 - 11:52am PT
With reference to:
"Not all Italians voted Berlusconi ..."

Neither all americans voted Gerge W. Bush or Ronald Regan. But, incidentally, they were elected twice.
Just like Berlusconi.
Best
E
Luca Signorelli

Mountain climber
Courmayeur (Vda) Italy
Jan 21, 2012 - 11:55am PT
Mi offro di tradurre in Inglese i post di chiunque fra gli italiani presenti qui non parli inglese - postare in Italiano in un forum americano ha poco senso e aggiunge alla confusione che sembra regnare qui.

Trans: I offer to translate into English for Italian posting here (who don't know English themselves) - posting in Italian on a US forum makes very little sense and just add to the incomprehension that seems to be rampant here.
Malemute

Ice climber
the ghost
Jan 21, 2012 - 11:59am PT
Maestri's 1970 compressor route is severely tainted by his lying about the 1959 climb.
ALPINEMAN

Trad climber
bogota
Jan 21, 2012 - 11:59am PT
@Luca translation please, posted on an Italian forum:

18 de Enero de 2012. Descenso del Cerro Torre.

Entrevista a Jason Kruk y Hayden Kennedy, Colin Haley y Rolando Garibotti.

La Cachaña: ¿Retirar los clavos de Maestri era algo que tenían pensado cuando planearon subir al Cerro Torre?

Hyden Kennedy: Este año vinimos a Patagonia simplemente a escalar, no teníamos planeado de antemano retirar los clavos de presión, ni siquiera escalar el espolón sudeste del Torre. Escalamos la Standhardt, Egger, también el Torre pero no lo habíamos planeado hacer necesariamente por esa ruta, pero el clima tan caluroso y las condiciones climáticas adecuadas nos hicieron pensar que teníamos una buena oportunidad para intentarlo. Además, Jason ya conocía bien la ruta porque lo había intentado el año pasado junto a Chris Geisler llegando a unos 60 metros de la cumbre.

Jason Kruk: En ningún momento durante el ascenso pensamos en retirar los clavos de la pared, ni siquiera durante la escalada estuvimos seguros que positivamente íbamos a lograr llegar a la cumbre. Para nosotros en cuanto te ponés a pensar solo en el objetivo, te perdés de vivir la experiencia de estar haciéndolo, ésto es lo importante para nosotros. Fue en la cumbre que tomamos la decisión de retirar los clavos de Maestri.

En el pueblo, el 19 de enero, un grupo de escaladores locales se reunieron en el Puesto Sanitario local habiendo conocido la noticia sobre la “limpieza” del Cerro Torre. Los escaladores y vecinos interesados en el tema se declararon en contra del accionar de los chicos repudiando “…ampliamente la violación del patrimonio cultural e histórico de una de las montañas más emblemáticas del mundo, al haber sido removidos parte de los clavos de la ruta “El Compresor” en el Cerro Torre, acción llevada a cabo por los escaladores Jason Kruk y Hayden Kennedy a pesar del consenso logrado en el año 2007 sobre la conservación de dicho patrimonio.”

Como cuentan los propios protagonistas del grupo de vecinos, “…en el ínterin nos enteramos de que uno de los justicieros de la montaña (EEUU y Canadá) se encontraba en los alrededores, se lo fue a intervenir para pedir explicaciones. Allí se acercó la policía y se lo condujo al domicilio (donde se encontraba su compañero) para que entregue los clavos removidos (a simple vista, calculo, más de 100) y seguidamente se los llevaron a la comisaría para dejar constancia del hecho. Se realizó un simbólico escrache en la casa.”

La Cachaña: ¿Se imaginaron que podía causar estos problemas?

Hyden Kennedy: Lo discutimos y sabíamos que iba a haber mucha gente que no le iba a gustar y que en internet se iba a hablar mucho de esto, pero no esperábamos esta reacción en el pueblo.

Jason Kruk: No esperábamos que una patota enojada nos atacara, eso para nosotros fue muy triste, que no pudieran hablar directamente con nosotros. Hemos perdido amigos por este hecho.

Hyden Kennedy: No esperábamos todo esto y tampoco nos imaginamos que íbamos a terminar en la policía. Igualmente al tomar la decisión de retirar los clavos, Jason y yo teníamos que estar preparados para enfrentar las consecuencias.

Jason Kruk: No nos importa lo que el resto piense de nosotros, tomamos esta decisión y estamos preparados para vivir con eso. Nunca habrá un consenso sobre qué lado tiene razón, así que simplemente lo hicimos.

La Cachaña: ¿Esto es algo común? Cuándo un escalador logra el ascenso sin utilizar los clavos, ¿tiene derecho a retiralos?

Colin Haley: En la escalada, los clavos de expansión o presión (perforados) empezaron a ser utilizados en 1950, antes no existían. Desde que empezaron a ser utilizados causaron mucha controversia, porque te permiten escalar cualquier montaña. Si taladrás clavos suficientes podés escalar lo que quieras sin dificultad. Hubo muchos casos donde rutas que tenían demasiados clavos, alguien los sacó. No diría que es común porque la mayoría de las veces, los clavos se ponen donde tiene sentido ponerlos, donde no hay reparo natural. Normalmente los clavos se retiran de los lugares donde no tiene sentido que estén, como cerca de fisuras. La ruta del compresor es una de las rutas con más clavos del mundo. Por cuatro décadas los escaladores hablaron de sacar los clavos de la ruta del compresor.

La Cachaña: ¿Por qué lo hicieron?

Colin Haley: Las razones para hacer algo así son muy claras para las personas del mundo de la escalada. Y muy difícil de explicar, pero lo importante es el respeto por la naturaleza, creo que sacar los clavos deja limpia a la montaña y ahora solo se puede escalar de una manera limpia, lo que ponés, lo sacás. En un lado está “hago lo que sea para llegar a la cima de la montaña sin importar lo que le hago a la montaña” y en el otro lado está el respeto por la montaña.

Hyden Kennedy: Básicamente es devolverle a la montaña su estado natural.

Jason Kruk: Las personas que nos vinieron a ver enojadas me dijeron que si ellos fueran a mi ciudad e hicieran algo así, los tratarían mal, pero yo los quiero invitar a que vengan a escalar a mi ciudad y hagan lo que hagan se sentirán como en su casa. Yo haré todo lo posible para que se sientan bienvenidos.

Colin Haley: Mi opinión es que esta discusión, parte tiene que ver con la escalada, pero también con el nacionalismo, y creo que muchas de las personas que estaban enojadas no lo hubiesen estado si Hayden y Jason fuesen argentinos. Para mi esa lógica no tiene sentido, las montañas son parte del mundo natural y el Cerro Torre pertenece a todos los escaladores del mundo, sin importar la nacionalidad. Una actitud así, roza la discriminación.

Hyden Kennedy: Otra de las cosas que se hablaron es sobre la historia, nos dijeron que sienten que de alguna manera les borramos parte de su historia, pero la historia está escrita, está hecha y va cambiando. Esta es una montaña muy controvertida y ésto, es solo un capítulo. No se puede robar la historia.

Rolando Garibotti: Yo estoy completamente de acuerdo en todo y quiero recalcar lo que dijo Colin sobre el ser local. El local se vota con el corazón, donde dedicás tu tiempo y ponés tu energía. Para mi, ellos son locales porque vienen acá cada año y le ponen un montón de pilas a estas montañas. Yo tengo vividos más de 15 años fuera de Argentina y nunca nadie me hizo sentir que yo no fuese local, he sacado clavos, repuesto clavos, colocado clavos y nunca nadie me hizo sentir que no podía hacerlo por hablar otro idioma o tener acento.

Colin Haley: La verdad también es que no hay locales en El Chaltén, todos son de afuera.

Rolando Garibotti: La discusión de estos bolts es una discusión filosófica, es una discusión sobre qué sentido tiene la montaña y a qué vamos a la montaña. Los clavos son un atajo para intentar llegar a la cumbre cuando no tenés los recursos para llegar. A mí me interesa la calidad de la experiencia, yo prefiero no llegar a una cumbre si no tengo los recursos antes de usar más medios para hacerlo, es una elección personal, es una cuestión estética. Hay personas que van a ciertas montañas solo por tildar una cumbre y hay otros que van por lo que es la experiencia de llegar hasta ahí, la batalla que implica confrontar la naturaleza en sus propios términos, siguiendo algunos parámetros básicos de la escalada. En cuanto a lo que utilizás, cuánto menos, más ético es tu estilo.

La Cachaña: Al quitar los clavos, ¿no se le quita la posibilidad a muchas personas que pueden escalar esa vía solo con la ayuda de los clavos?

Rolando Garibotti: Pero entonces pongamos una escalera mecánica al Cerro Torre. En algún lugar hay una línea muy gris, porque es un deporte que no está muy definido. Maestri, sin duda, desde el comienzo cruzó esa línea gris a un lugar rojo, lo que hizo Maestri fue una aberración. La cuestión es cuántos medios justifican llegar a la cumbre. Yo voy a la montaña a buscar dificultad, a buscar desafío… ¿y después, uso un montón de medios para facilitar el camino?, no tiene sentido. Alguien podría argumentar que deberíamos escalar desnudos, que no es justo siquiera utilizar las cuerdas. Bueno, hay parámetros de base aceptados entre los escaladores que implican llevar tus dos cuerdas, tu mochila y poco más. Todo lo que sale de eso, taladro, cuerdas fijas y más tecnología, tiene menor valor por una cuestión simple, que estás usando más medios, estás confrontando menos a la montaña es sus propios términos. De eso se trata, de la honestidad y la modestia de confrontar a la montaña en sus propios términos y se trata de la modestia de que si vos no tenés el nivel te basta elegir una montaña más fácil. Y no, mucha gente que hubiese subido al Torre por la vía del compresor hoy puede seguir teniendo experiencias de la misma calidad, basta que suba a otra cumbre, la calidad de la experiencia no va a cambiar, tal vez lo que esas ascensiones requieran de uno mismo va a ser igualmente fuerte, lo que va a cambiar va a ser el objetivo final, no tendrá el nombrecito, pero si nosotros nos limitamos a tener el nombrecito de turista: “yo escalé el cerro torre”, entonces sí, pongamos la escalera mecánica, el helicóptero y demás. Si empezamos con la discusión de que limitamos la posibilidad a otros, no hay límites, se acabó.

Lo que estaría bueno que suceda es armar otra reunión porque mucha gente estaba escalando y así que estén presentes todos, los dos lados. Es lo justo, que nos podamos escuchar todos, todas las versiones y opiniones.

Al final todo es una cuestión de respeto y de respetar los espacios. Los clavos pertenecen a un museo, la historia sigue estando ahí, la historia continua.
Credit: ALPINEMAN
justthemaid

climber
Jim Henson's Basement
Jan 21, 2012 - 12:05pm PT
I'm not qualified to have and opinion but there's some great posts from both sides. Carry on.

Sidebar: If nothing else... this thread has illustrated once again... that no one gives a rat's ass about Canadians.
WBraun

climber
Jan 21, 2012 - 12:05pm PT
It's nice to know Italian is our second language ....
klk

Trad climber
cali
Jan 21, 2012 - 12:06pm PT
And so: no, the overwhelming majority of "us" Italians doesn't love Maestri. In fact, the overwhelming majority simply doesn't know who Cesare Maestri is (or was). The rest is divided into a larger camp of people who hates him (for various reasons) and a minority who recognize him as a controversial character but also one of the greatest rock climbers produced by the Dolomites scene.

It's no secret (except for those in bad faith, or those who are very poorly informed) that there's very little love lost between Maestri and a lot of Italian climbers (particularly of his own home turf). In part because Maestri used to be genuinely difficult to deal with (brash, arrogant, often rude and almost impossibly un-PC), in part because of jealousy, and in part because of (I've been told) reasons that have nothing to do with climbing. And there's a lot of people that would simply dance on Maestri's grave and is looking forward to see him be publicly humiliated. Personally, I don't like people being lynched if there's no apparent good reasons for the lynching, but I suspect that if so many people seem to dislike his (former) ways, he must have done something to put himself in trouble.

But the problem his - that's EXACTLY what happened to Bonatti or Claudio Corti... they got publicly humiliated by people who thought they knew better. And with time, it was recognized their accuser were wrong, and had acted for ignorance, malice and stupidity.

Luca's words here bear repeating.

Also Luca offered to translate important Italian posts, not Spanish ones. This is a California site, after all. Anyone who can't read a bit of Spanish should just go home.

heh
stevep

Boulder climber
Salt Lake, UT
Jan 21, 2012 - 12:06pm PT
That's Spanish, Alpineman, not Italian. And my spanish is not good enough that I'd attempt translating.

To all the Italians posting, thanks mostly for your input. But let's not compare a few bolts with the stupidity and loss of life from Bush.
Jim Brennan

Trad climber
Vancouver Canada
Jan 21, 2012 - 12:10pm PT
Lets also not compare a few bolts to Fiat cars...
Luca Signorelli

Mountain climber
Courmayeur (Vda) Italy
Jan 21, 2012 - 12:10pm PT
@AM: I can translate Italian into English, not every language out there into English!

@Steve: You're right. I ask fellow Italians here to refrain to put politics into this thread. Both communities will be grateful for that.
Brian in SLC

Social climber
Salt Lake City, UT
Jan 21, 2012 - 12:12pm PT
Since there are a few Italian speakers/readers here...

How about a little help with translation?

Maestri to Bridwell...
Maestri to Bridwell...
Credit: Brian in SLC

Not that there's any connection to all this...ha ha...

Thanks!
stevep

Boulder climber
Salt Lake, UT
Jan 21, 2012 - 12:12pm PT
From Google translate, and not 100% correct, but close:


Edit: Colin and Rolo, if this was not a real interview, or really badly translated, speak up and I'll delete the translation.

Double Edit: Deleted. There are enough hard feelings on this, without even small mis-translations contributing to it. Better to let the protagonists speak for themselves in the native language.
Luca Signorelli

Mountain climber
Courmayeur (Vda) Italy
Jan 21, 2012 - 12:20pm PT
@Brian in SLC:

"Dear Bridwell,

growing old, I've learned that is often better to know someone personally, before judging him. With esteem and admiration, Cesare Maestri"
MH2

climber
Jan 21, 2012 - 12:20pm PT
I like that Google says that Rolo said that visitors (Hayden and Jason?) put a lot of batteries in those mountains.



Probably he actually said they put a lot of energy?
WBraun

climber
Jan 21, 2012 - 12:24pm PT
Luca Signorelli

Thanks for the translation.

That was nice note from Maestri ....
Brian in SLC

Social climber
Salt Lake City, UT
Jan 21, 2012 - 12:31pm PT
Luca Signorelli
Thanks for the translation.
That was nice note from Maestri ....

Big thanks! I couldn't figure out the handwriting.

Yep, nice words. Might apply here too? Hmmm....
gimmeslack

Trad climber
VA
Jan 21, 2012 - 12:32pm PT
With apologies to author(s) if I've made any mistakes (I'm bilingual, but in a hurry...). Too much to translate it fully, but in a nutshell:

It was not premeditated. The decision was made on the summit.

In town on the 19th local climbers gathered at Puesto Sanitario (health center?) declared their objection to the violation of this cultural and historical treasure...

Police went to where climbers were staying (?) and confiscated (est more than 100) bolts.

Climbers had discussed possible repercussions, but had not expected local climber's reaction.

(Jason) "We don't care what the rest think of us, we made this decision and we're prepared to live with it. There will never be consensus regarding which side is right, so we simply did it"

Colin discusses the history of this type of bolts, pointing out that they allow you to go anywhere you want, their controversial use and other routes where they've been used in excess (and chopped).

Why? CH: Thought difficult to explain, the reasons are clear to climbers - respect for the mountain... HK: "Basically to return the mountain to its natural state.

CH: My opinion is that this discussion is partially about climbing, but also about nationalism... Many would not be angry if H & J were Argentinian... And the reality is that there are no locals in El Chalten - everyone is an outsider.

RG: The bolt discussion is a philosophical one. It's about what the mountain means and why we go there. The bolts are a shortcut to something we cannot otherwise attain...

Doesn't removing the bolts prevent those who need them from climbing the mtn? RG: well then let's put up an escalator... It's a gray (vague) line, because it's not a well defined sport. Maestri clearly crossed that line...

(not sure if this is Rolo):
In the end, it's a question of respect and of respecting the spaces (places). The bolts belong in a museum, the history continues to exist there, history goes on.

ALPINEMAN

Trad climber
bogota
Jan 21, 2012 - 12:37pm PT
summary... a stupid act

but their sponsor what they say?
tarek

climber
berkeley
Jan 21, 2012 - 12:42pm PT
stevep,

google has significant errors in there, i'd delete that "translation."
tarallo

Trad climber
italy
Jan 21, 2012 - 01:15pm PT
what i can say about America and Americans,for my personal experience, is the best of best and my dream is one day to go there to live dear kinobi.....and putting the act of two di..heads on sometthing against americans is simply stupid and...at the end is always the same thing..i would like to see kinobi wich american gear he use....
Luca Signorelli

Mountain climber
Courmayeur (Vda) Italy
Jan 21, 2012 - 01:20pm PT
@Brian:

I think what may apply here is "You may well judge the deed, but it's very difficult to judge the doer if you don't get to know him first".

Which is a wise rule to follow in general...
BlackSpider

Ice climber
Jan 21, 2012 - 01:25pm PT
For all those who keep talking about "Americans" (which is funny because there's one American involved here, one Canadian, and the biggest supporter and communicator of news is an Argentine), would you be less upset if the bolt chopping had been done by say, Ueli Steck and Stephan Glowacz? Or would we be hearing about "you Swiss" and "you Germans"?
shipoopoi

Big Wall climber
oakland
Jan 21, 2012 - 01:35pm PT
well, very interesting to see italians writing here. i commend them for giving our site a foreign flavor and opinion. it demonstrates how big and international this issue is.

in 2007, in researching for an article to justify leaving the bolts in place, i interviewed several american climbers that had actually climbed the compressor route. i asked them if they thought it should be chopped. in every case except one(bean bowers), they felt the route should stay. here are some names of those interviewed, and a soundbite from them.

alan kearny "i don't think it's right to deface history"

jim bridwell "i think that would be a real shame" on if the bolts got removed

mark synnot "for better or for worse, it's part of the history of the sport"

paul gagner "I think it's bullshit that people impose standards of today on routes of yesterday"

greg crouch he has written his own comments on this site about feeling uncomfortable with the chopping of bolts on this routes, as climbing it was, for him, one of the greatest experiences of his life.

dave nettle dave was Bean's partner on the climb

john middendorf i did not interview john but he is/was against chopping

that's seven against the chopping and only one for removing it. this repesents only a fourth or fifth of americans who have climbed the compressor route, and sadly we have lost a couple(shipley/fowler), but i think these climbers opinions should be weighted heavily because they have been up there, clipped the bolts, and seen the overbolting first hand.
steve schneider

BlackSpider

Ice climber
Jan 21, 2012 - 01:37pm PT
I posted this elsewhere but it fits here too. Let's stop being polite and call Maestri's "route" for what it is: a botch job retro-bolt extension of the 1968 British attempt that, like that attempt, doesn't actually make it to the summit (but gets somewhat closer). Really no different than if someone forced their way up the North Ridge of Latok I past the Lowe/Lowe/Kennedy/Donini highpoint by drilling bolts most of the way, still didn't make the summit, chopped part of their route on retreat from the new summitless highpoint, and called the climb a success.
Ron Anderson

Trad climber
USA Moundhouse Nev.
Jan 21, 2012 - 01:42pm PT
bah,, much a do over nothing,,, fifteen yrs from now,, they will all be grid bolted 5.17s...
Luca Signorelli

Mountain climber
Courmayeur (Vda) Italy
Jan 21, 2012 - 01:49pm PT
@Black Spider: it that's true, well, one can start to say, for instance, that the Cassin route at the Walker Spur of the Jorasses "A botch job retro piton/aid extension of the original Charlet/Croux 1923 attempt" (because Armand Charlet and Evariste Croux tried to climb it first all free and without pitons, while the reason Cassin did get through was that he used a large quantity of pitons in spots like the 90 meters dihedral or the grey slabs). Cassin and C. did summit indeed, but still "extension" was.

However, don't expect this attitude to be considered popular in most of the climbing community. Right now the Cassin spur is regularly climbed all free, but no one would dream to remove all the pitons and say that Cassin never climbed it!
BlackSpider

Ice climber
Jan 21, 2012 - 01:49pm PT
"Probably the most disrespectful, shameful act I've seen in 35 years of climbing."

That seems a bit excessive. At least they climbed the route rather than doing it by jumaring other people's fixed lines.
Luca Signorelli

Mountain climber
Courmayeur (Vda) Italy
Jan 21, 2012 - 01:52pm PT
I second also that a comparison with Stefan Glowacz is a very poor and uninformed on. Glowacz may feel strongly in relation to bolts (as I do, for what's worth) but he would never act in such an irresponsible way.
sandstone conglomerate

climber
sharon conglomerate central
Jan 21, 2012 - 01:54pm PT
If those that are bitterly complaining about the bolt chopping had successfully climbed it (CR) before said chopping, would there still be as much anger towards these guys? Just curious...and damn would I love to see the place. This is an arguement only climbing geeks can love. Who the hell outside of a handful of people even know what Cerro Torre is?
Brandon-

climber
The Granite State.
Jan 21, 2012 - 01:57pm PT
RIP, Bean.
BlackSpider

Ice climber
Jan 21, 2012 - 02:02pm PT
"@Black Spider: it that's true, well, one can start to say, for instance, that the Cassin route at the Walker Spur of the Jorasses "A botch job retro piton/aid extension of the original Charlet/Croux 1923 attempt" (because Armand Charlet and Evariste Croux tried to climb it first all free and without pitons, while the reason Cassin did get through was that he used a large quantity of pitons in spots like the 90 meters dihedral or the grey slabs). Cassin and C. did summit indeed, but still "extension" was."

Did Cassin make as big of a mess on the Walker Spur as Maestri did on Cerro Torre? For instance, can you stand in one spot and clip in to a half-dozen different fixed pitons on Cassin's route? (the only pictures I've seen of the Walker Spur are from the Colton-McIntyre route). That being said, it's extremely impressive that Charlet and Croux tried to climb the route free without pins in 1923. Also, the distinction between summiting and not summiting a "route", although seemingly lessened in modern times (although Denis Urubko takes that viewpoint to task in the latest issue of Alpinist) is pretty significant when we are talking about making the first ascent of an actual mountain.

To be clear, I'm not even against bolting in the mountains per say. I think that, for instance, Steve House's rant in an old issue of Alpinist over Valeri Babanov placing 2 bolts on the entire Northeast Pillar of Nuptse was pretty excessive. However, as Colin Haley said, the Compressor Route is the single biggest instance in climbing history of "a climber going absolutely insane with bolts".

"However, don't expect this attitude to be considered popular in most of the climbing community. Right now the Cassin spur is regularly climbed all free, but no one would dream to remove all the pitons and say that Cassin never climbed it!"

I don't think anyone is trying to claim that Maestri never actually climbed on Cerro Torre. But he certainly doesn't deserve the credit for the first ascent of Cerro Torre for a route that doesn't even go to its summit.
BlackSpider

Ice climber
Jan 21, 2012 - 02:08pm PT
"I second also that a comparison with Stefan Glowacz is a very poor and uninformed on. Glowacz may feel strongly in relation to bolts (as I do, for what's worth) but he would never act in such an irresponsible way."

This is completely missing the point. I only grabbed Steck's and Glowacz's names because both of them are great alpinists with strong ethics, not because of any attempt to decided whether they would or wouldn't chop bolts. The question was IF they did, whether their nationalities would get dragged into it to the extent that Kennedy's has here (along with all sorts of people mistakenly calling Kruk an American).
deuce4

climber
Hobart, Australia
Jan 21, 2012 - 02:28pm PT
Like many discussions on Supertopo, there's a lot conjecture and speculation. I'd like to hear the climber's own rationale for the chopping, as well as additional details of the relative purity of their own ascent.

Rolo has described his feelings in detail, but I'm not necessarily assuming theirs are the same.

iep

climber
Jan 21, 2012 - 02:31pm PT
dammit boys, all politics aside, that is ONE BEAUTIFUL PEAK

<3

also, those freaky jeglic/karo and other south-side routes must have been attempted by some of you big-wall-punters?
nah000

Mountain climber
Calgary
Jan 21, 2012 - 02:40pm PT
the short version:

anarchy can either be respectful or it can be violent: we can either police ourselves or we will be policed.



nah000

Mountain climber
Calgary
Jan 21, 2012 - 02:41pm PT
the longer argument:

after reading the opinions posted, i find that for me the central question is:

who is to decide the ethics of an area?

i personally happen to agree with chopping the bolts on cerro torre.

because i don’t climb there, i also think my opinion on this issue is irrelevant. it is not my place to control evidence of the past in that location.

even if i was an expert climber who climbed there. i wouldn’t see it as my place to unilaterally control evidence of the past. we no longer live in an era where we gain by having individuals control our collective past (or future).

the world (both climbing and otherwise) is no longer simple enough or large enough for us to rely on hierarchical power.

we no longer live in the time of the individual expert. we are either transitioning into or already in an era of the network. we as a climbing community can either accept this or bury our individual heads in the sand and continue on assuming that placing a bolt is equivalent to pulling a bolt.

if it is not beneficial for individuals to control evidence of the past, then what?

as others have noted one of the most essential and beautiful aspects of climbing, is its anarchy. very few have historically told us collectively or individually what we could or couldn’t do on the mountain.

as i see it, in many areas this is changing and we are left with the following choice:

we can either learn to have dialogue that creates and respects both spaces of ethical consensus and of ethical dissent within our communities
or
we can fight amongst ourselves as individual wild-west-like-men until we invite authority from outside our climbing communities. (ironically i see after writing this, from the posts that have transpired, that this has happened to some degree in el chalten, and we’ve already seen it happen in the u.s. to some degree)

in other words, we can either create our own spaces of limited anarchy or our space of anarchy will be taken from us.

the world is still large enough for every type of climbing to exist somewhere. it is no longer large enough for every type of climbing to exist everywhere.

different types of climbing are mutually exclusive: a via ferrata, and even bolted belays change the experience of a mountain for everyone who follows. and so does the erasing of history.

the determination of what is allowed where, should be made collectively by local climbers (and by local i mean by those who climb there regularly, not something nationality based). if we continue to rely solely on individual climbers what will suffer is the rock (via bolt wars) and/or our freedoms as climbers.

anarchy can either be respectful or it can be violent: we can either police ourselves or we will be policed.
mongrel

Trad climber
Truckee, CA
Jan 21, 2012 - 02:43pm PT
Thanks to Steve Grossman for bumping this old thread:
http://www.supertopo.com/climbers-forum/825943/Cerro-Torre-the-lie-and-the-desecration
which includes some interesting statements regarding Maestri's own intent that his bolt ladders be chopped, and his starting to do so. FA parties are widely given great albeit not absolute deference about addition of bolts; it seems reasonable also to give them deference when they indicate that bolts they placed should be removed. Certainly a good justification for removing the route; whether that factored into the recent ascenders' actions or not one cannot say (nor does it really matter).
Michi

climber
Jan 21, 2012 - 02:46pm PT
Dear Hayden Kennedy and Jason Kruk

Congratulations for your ascent of the South East Ridge of Cerro Torre and for climbing a line that avoids the Maestri bolt ladders all the way to the summit.

THANK YOU for chopping many of the bolts of Maestri’s 1970 attempt.

Well done.

On an attempt on the Compressor Route we have climbed to 4 pitches from the summit and found the bolt ladders an abomination and sacrilege. I vouched to never return to the Compressor route. Clipping and aiding bolts up a completely blank wall for hundreds of meters has nothing to do with climbing.

It was high time to make Cerro Torre once again what it is: one of the most beautiful and difficult mountains on this planet.

Michi Wyser / Switzerland

Credit: Michi



Melissa

Gym climber
berkeley, ca
Jan 21, 2012 - 03:04pm PT
Greg Crouch wrote:

I’m a little saddened that opportunity isn’t in the world any longer.

Me too.

Not that I'd probably ever climb it, but it's one of those historic routes where I and others have thought "maybe someday"... I'm not in love with fixed hardware as a rule, but clipping some of the storied old stuff has always made me feel connected to history.

I have to wonder how many thousands of power drilled bolts the young conquistadores clipped to bring their skills up to the level where doing this deed was their due.
MarkWestman

Trad climber
Talkeetna, Alaska
Jan 21, 2012 - 03:16pm PT
A few evolving observations after thinking about this more.

It’s been stated that this was done “to show respect to the mountain”. If this is a matter of man-made devices left behind: I think most everyone is in agreement that 400 bolts was beyond excessive and poor style. But the new route added five more, and the belay bolts and other fixed gear will never be gone unless they are all chopped and the last guy jumps off with a wingsuit. So while chopping may have improved the hardware quantity situation, the simple truth is that as long as we keep climbing it, the mountain can never be restored to its “pristine” state. If this is a matter of style and culture: many indigenous cultures consider climbing certain mountains BY ANY MEANS AT ALL to be “disrespect”. I doubt any of the climbers involved in this feel this way about the hallowed Torre nor would they feel bound to honor such concerns if they were applied to the Torre by the Mapuche, for example. In other words, what one person calls “respect” may be, and often is, another person’s travesty, and when it comes to such trivialities and contrivances as style in climbing mountains, I don’t think it’s a stretch to suggest all such notions are constructs of various egos and personalities and nationalities, especially noting the absurd locals vs. Italians. vs. Americans.vs. Argentinians arguments that are sprouting up here. If it’s a matter of difficulty: it seems like this is the particular form of respect being promoted here, that we “respect” mountains by rising to meet their challenges as closely as possible with the minimal amount of gear and artificial means. Fair enough, in fact, right on, I’ve always tried to embrace that myself.

However, the mountain does not think or care what we do. It’s a mass of rock. It’s not alive and it’s doesn’t relate to us. People, however, do care, do live, and do relate. So talk of “respect”, I think, must necessarily include a human component. One could argue, accurately, that erasing the Maestri route in the face of the existence of a demonstrated alternative now forces the climber to rise to a new challenge in order to succeed on the Torre. This is a good thing! However…to play devil’s advocate, one could argue that by leaving the old route in place, one could have presented a far greater challenge to future alpinists: to choose for themselves to undertake the more aesthetic, more technical (and not substantially moreso, from the sounds of it), and more logistically challenging line. I believe- perhaps naively so- that had this been done, the climbing community would have come to accept the “southeast ridge” route as the proper line up Cerro Torre and would have not only shunned the bolt line in favor of the variations, but would have considered future ascents of it to be illegitimate. And in the process, the human component of respect would have been honored by leaving the old line in place and satisfying those who treasure its historical value.
Instead, that choice has been made FOR everyone, forced upon them, by a handful of individuals, and, additionally, there are now a lot of very angry and upset people. This issue was greater than any one group of people, it wasn't up to a small group of climbers any more than it was up to the "locals" to decide. Nobody owns the mountain. So I don’t think chopping this route has made the world a better place, it has merely satisfied the values of one group. In showing “respect” for the mountain (as defined by some) there has clearly been DISrespect shown to many persons. It also seems like there is a real concern among some in this debate of the mountain being summitted by people who didn’t “earn it”. I would certainly agree that Maestri insulted the climbing community with his creation, but I don’t begrudge the people who repeated his line. I have the choice to honor, or not,what someone considers an accomplishment, but in the greater scheme of things it does not offend my sensibilities or invoke any sense of outrage that people have stood on top of the Torre by way of bolts. That was their choice to engage it, it added no additional litter to the mountains, it (on one level or another) gave people an adventure, it does not affect my choice to climb a more difficult and aesthetic line if I so choose, and any outrage I would have ultimately is a problem of my own ego. I am pretty sure the Torre isn’t offended either, since it does not have a brain. Crouch put it perfectly: the Torre itself holds “titanic indifference” to it all.

Personally, I don’t mourn the loss of the route, it is gone and in the long run people will get on with it and rise up to the southeast ridge. As I pointed out above, I deliberately chose not to attempt this route on my own trial with the Torre. My choice, made without judgment towards those who chose the Maestri instead. In the meantime, though, all this chopping has done really is to create an unnecessary conflict. We have much greater problems in the world that would be worth putting our energies towards, folks. Moreover, with serious access issues bearing down upon us as climbers, this makes us look pathetically weak and disjointed as a community.

Russ Walling

Gym climber
Poofter's Froth, Wyoming
Jan 21, 2012 - 03:17pm PT
WOOO-HOOOOO!!!!!!!

Hello Michi!

Check your email
Lovegasoline

Trad climber
Sh#t Hole, Brooklyn, NY
Jan 21, 2012 - 03:28pm PT
Congratulations to Kruck and Kennedy on their climb.

My own feelings about the Compressor route having been chopped are ambivalent.

The theory that the bolt chopping was performed as a sort of 'ethical public service' in order to restore the mountain back to a 'pristine condition', i.e. to it’s pre-Maestri condition, appears illogical. If Kruk and Kennedy left a monumental line of hammered-out bolt holes dotted up the mountain then clearly 'pristine restoration' of the mountain was not the intent here.

Obviously if the reports are accurate, then filling the holes did not occur and was not a priority. If mountain restoration were the priority, they would have put their efforts into filling the numerous bolt holes.

This chopping action was not about 'restoring' a mountain face. It was about erasing another climber's route, pure and simple. Let's call a spade a spade: it was a historial grudge match and a PR event. This is about climbers' egos, pissing matches, commercial and career incentives, one upmanship, and self-promotion. This was not about ethical concern for a mountain.

How exactly does the mountain benefit from this?

Mention was made earlier in this thread regarding guides who may have a commercial self-interest in maintaining the Compressor route. Likewise, what was the commercial and career incentive of Kruk and Kennedy chopping the bolts? Did it instantly link their ascent as an integral part of the Maestri scandal and saga? A video is now being made? Certainly commercial incentives must be factored in. It was reported that the police confiscated the bolts from the climbers: as an aside, what is the commercial value of the Maestri bolts?

Kruk and Kennedy are Sons of Maestri.


The only reply consistent with the historical clusterfuk is for someone to go up there and restore the bolts.
nopantsben

climber
Jan 21, 2012 - 04:11pm PT
i have written what I think about this subject here:

http://nopantsclimbing.blogspot.com/

i guess I agree with SSchneider, SCosgrove and most others on this one...
Luca Signorelli

Mountain climber
Courmayeur (Vda) Italy
Jan 21, 2012 - 04:35pm PT
@BlackSpider
Did Cassin make as big of a mess on the Walker Spur as Maestri did on Cerro Torre? For instance, can you stand in one spot and clip in to a half-dozen different fixed pitons on Cassin's route? (the only pictures I've seen of the Walker Spur are from the Colton-McIntyre route). That being said, it's extremely impressive that Charlet and Croux tried to climb the route free without pins in 1923. Also, the distinction between summiting and not summiting a "route", although seemingly lessened in modern times (although Denis Urubko takes that viewpoint to task in the latest issue of Alpinist) is pretty significant when we are talking about making the first ascent of an actual mountain.


It wholly depends on what you think it's a "big mess". From the modern point of view, Cassin's climb was definitely "unethical": he used a lot of a gear, including "new" gear (Vibram boots) that had not been used before to attempt the climb, he used techniques that were disliked/frowned upon by the local scene, he went straight through a dihedral in the lower section nailing the hell out it (and this section was basically abandoned from the second ascent of the route because is illogical)... and you can't even say it was the state of art for the day in terms of difficulty, as four years later (1942) Giusto Gervasutti climbed on the same mountain, with much less gear, a route unrivaled in difficulty in the area until Harlin and Robbins opened their route on the West Face of the Drus in 1962 (20 years later!). Back then no one cared because in 1938 people had a lot to think about more important than climbing ethics, but there's little doubt that the route was - in terms of modern standards - "unethical" (if there's anything like "ethics" in climbing mountains)

But still the first ascent of the Walker Spur is a milestone in the history of climbing, a mythical route, and no one would belittle Cassin's achievement, neither decide to unilaterally "clean" the route without asking locally. Heck, if anyone did that, all hell would break loose, and we're speaking of a route 70 years old! When people suggested the Bonatti route on the Grand Capucin had to be cleaned (because new gear allows to climb it without using the old pitons) the suggestion was enormously disliked by a lot of people, including people traditionally anti-bolt. The reason was - the route had been opened that way, why change it?

And there are several instances of "high bolt density" routes that no one in its mind would "clean": think about the Camillotto Pellissier or the Saxon Direct on the Cima Grande di Lavaredo... bolted routes, originally climbed aiding, now free routes of great quality, but the bolts are still there...

I think that the whole debate here is not about being "pro-bolts" or "anti-bolts". Personally, I feel very strongly against retro-bolting of classic routes (and I've even campaigned to preserve the integrity of several lines in the Gran Paradiso area, who had been threatened to be retrobolted by guides), but in this case the point is more - what is the limit of climber's freedom to change an already established route, particularly a route that almost everyone agrees, bolt or not, is brilliant? If you give complete freedom toi a pair of kids to destroy a route that was there since 1970, why can't everyone else given freedom to do what they want everywhere (including - for instance - El Capitan)? And if there's an absolute freedom to chop bolts, without asking permission first, why couldn't be an absolute freedom to PUT bolts?
ALPINEMAN

Trad climber
bogota
Jan 21, 2012 - 04:43pm PT
On an attempt on the Compressor Route we have climbed to 4 pitches from the summit and found the bolt ladders an abomination and sacrilege.


and because you went to try a route that already knew it was so?

perhaps because it was the easiest way to conquer the Cerro Torre?

why so few climbers have tried from the West, because it was inconvenient?


michi: little consistent with what you say now
e9climbing.blogspot.com

Mountain climber
Alps (Euro trash )
Jan 21, 2012 - 04:51pm PT
Luca and Mark Westman you two really manage to be balanced and provide interesting thoughts, much respect for that. Your moderation of the topic I think is much needed.

Luca mention "And there are several instances of "high bolt density" routes that no one in its mind would "clean": think about the Camillotto Pellissier or the Saxon Direct on the Cima Grande di Lavaredo... bolted routes, originally climbed aiding, now free routes of great quality, but the bolts are still there..."

The only of the two routes you mention I have had a look at is Camilotto Pellissier and in my oppinion the big difference is that there is not splitter cracks next to the huge number of iffy bolts providing great natural protection(when climbed free most cant make use of all the bolts and all are of questionable quality)and that's a distinct difference to the Compressor route.

To "clean" Camilotto Pellissier would most likely also mean retro bolt a slightly different line some thing very different to the Torre chopping.

A bit of topic sorry
squishy

Mountain climber
Jan 21, 2012 - 05:03pm PT
A few evolving observations after thinking about this more.

It’s been stated that this was done “to show respect to the mountain”. If this is a matter of man-made devices left behind: I think most everyone is in agreement that 400 bolts was beyond excessive and poor style. But the new route added five more, and the belay bolts and other fixed gear will never be gone unless they are all chopped and the last guy jumps off with a wingsuit. So while chopping may have improved the hardware quantity situation, the simple truth is that as long as we keep climbing it, the mountain can never be restored to its “pristine” state. If this is a matter of style and culture: many indigenous cultures consider climbing certain mountains BY ANY MEANS AT ALL to be “disrespect”. I doubt any of the climbers involved in this feel this way about the hallowed Torre nor would they feel bound to honor such concerns if they were applied to the Torre by the Mapuche, for example. In other words, what one person calls “respect” may be, and often is, another person’s travesty, and when it comes to such trivialities and contrivances as style in climbing mountains, I don’t think it’s a stretch to suggest all such notions are constructs of various egos and personalities and nationalities, especially noting the absurd locals vs. Italians. vs. Americans.vs. Argentinians arguments that are sprouting up here. If it’s a matter of difficulty: it seems like this is the particular form of respect being promoted here, that we “respect” mountains by rising to meet their challenges as closely as possible with the minimal amount of gear and artificial means. Fair enough, in fact, right on, I’ve always tried to embrace that myself.

However, the mountain does not think or care what we do. It’s a mass of rock. It’s not alive and it’s doesn’t relate to us. People, however, do care, do live, and do relate. So talk of “respect”, I think, must necessarily include a human component. One could argue, accurately, that erasing the Maestri route in the face of the existence of a demonstrated alternative now forces the climber to rise to a new challenge in order to succeed on the Torre. This is a good thing! However…to play devil’s advocate, one could argue that by leaving the old route in place, one could have presented a far greater challenge to future alpinists: to choose for themselves to undertake the more aesthetic, more technical (and not substantially moreso, from the sounds of it), and more logistically challenging line. I believe- perhaps naively so- that had this been done, the climbing community would have come to accept the “southeast ridge” route as the proper line up Cerro Torre and would have not only shunned the bolt line in favor of the variations, but would have considered future ascents of it to be illegitimate. And in the process, the human component of respect would have been honored by leaving the old line in place and satisfying those who treasure its historical value.
Instead, that choice has been made FOR everyone, forced upon them, by a handful of individuals, and, additionally, there are now a lot of very angry and upset people. This issue was greater than any one group of people, it wasn't up to a small group of climbers any more than it was up to the "locals" to decide. Nobody owns the mountain. So I don’t think chopping this route has made the world a better place, it has merely satisfied the values of one group. In showing “respect” for the mountain (as defined by some) there has clearly been DISrespect shown to many persons. It also seems like there is a real concern among some in this debate of the mountain being summitted by people who didn’t “earn it”. I would certainly agree that Maestri insulted the climbing community with his creation, but I don’t begrudge the people who repeated his line. I have the choice to honor, or not,what someone considers an accomplishment, but in the greater scheme of things it does not offend my sensibilities or invoke any sense of outrage that people have stood on top of the Torre by way of bolts. That was their choice to engage it, it added no additional litter to the mountains, it (on one level or another) gave people an adventure, it does not affect my choice to climb a more difficult and aesthetic line if I so choose, and any outrage I would have ultimately is a problem of my own ego. I am pretty sure the Torre isn’t offended either, since it does not have a brain. Crouch put it perfectly: the Torre itself holds “titanic indifference” to it all.

Personally, I don’t mourn the loss of the route, it is gone and in the long run people will get on with it and rise up to the southeast ridge. As I pointed out above, I deliberately chose not to attempt this route on my own trial with the Torre. My choice, made without judgment towards those who chose the Maestri instead. In the meantime, though, all this chopping has done really is to create an unnecessary conflict. We have much greater problems in the world that would be worth putting our energies towards, folks. Moreover, with serious access issues bearing down upon us as climbers, this makes us look pathetically weak and disjointed as a community.

Best post I have read on the subject...
healyje

Trad climber
Portland, Oregon
Jan 21, 2012 - 05:19pm PT
Look at it. Hard to imagine this being anyone's idea of a 'history' worth preserving.



And if this is really your idea of 'history', I'd suggest contacting the Argentine police for a 'historical' Maestri key fob of your very own.



Good job boys...
MarkWestman

Trad climber
Talkeetna, Alaska
Jan 21, 2012 - 05:38pm PT
Healy-
Indeed, it's ridiculous. Yet, it's history nonetheless, and your disgust with it doesn't give you or anyone else the inherent right to remove it given that the field of opinion is fairly evenly divided and emotions obviously run high around the issue.

I think the most effective expression of one's disgust with that mess would have been to avoid it and climb the new, and better line, or the west face, or El Arca, and leave it for others as an exhibit of what not to do. Lead by example rather than imposing your will on others would be a step up from what was done in the first place.
KabalaArch

Trad climber
Starlite, California
Jan 21, 2012 - 06:16pm PT
I think they forgot to take this with them.

Scott:

you did your homies proud. So did Steve.

giggio

climber
Milano, Italy
Jan 21, 2012 - 06:20pm PT
Hi everybody.
I didn't climb the routes we're talking about; anyway, as far as I understand, none of the lines above mentioned faced up the mountain like Maestri's.
Because of the style of the ascent, because of Maestri's character, and because of the background (the previous climb called into question) I think this is one the episodes in which the climber's stubborness and ego assertion have been most highlighted and strongly put in front of everybody. Behind any great performace there is something like a "I want to climb that f***king mountain at any cost", but in this case it was so evident and overwhelming that - coupled with a very controversial style - clearly generates disdain feelings.
I can understand very easily the reasons why many people don't like Maestri.

But I think that - after 50 years - that route has become a sort of historical heritage. Maybe a very ugly one, but a sort of monument. For someone a monument to bravery, for someone else to human madness, doesn't matter. For me it represents a warning about how far can our ego push ourselves.

I think that destroying this monument is an act of violence, which is exactly the thing they claim to fight against. I agree with Lovegasoline when he says "Kruk and Kennedy are Sons of Maestri."
Maysho

climber
Soda Springs, CA
Jan 21, 2012 - 06:27pm PT
I really love our sport!

I haven't attempted Cerro Torre, but I have climbed in Patagonia, in Paine...I've jammed up splitter cracks, moving fast with wind and clouds swirling; I've rappelled through the night with the wind screaming in my ears, the sound of the hinges on the weather window slamming shut, ...I've seen the red hued stacked flying saucer clouds marking the dawn, with hundreds of feet to go, and had the wind knock me straight to my ass when coiling the ropes at the base...

So I am totally inspired by these two young alpinists, succeeding to climb the line that should have been done in the first place, boldly, and competently, then rappeling over and pulling the trash (too bad not all of it!) that littered this proud tower, perhaps they didn't think through all the repercussions, but so what, they were there, we were not. The beauty of our sport is if you have the right to drill, someone has the right to remove it.

I really like Largo's post, and have nothing to add to placate the armchair-istas.

To those of us who still aspire to ascend this spire, come on! 5.11 A2 is doable, or there is the West Face. So instead of 1 hour to clip up a ridiculous ladder, it will take 4 hours to climb the terrain, oh well, we can bring ourselves up to the challenge or stay home.

Kudos to Hayden and Jason for a visionary climb!

Peter
ionlyski

Trad climber
Kalispell, Montana
Jan 21, 2012 - 06:28pm PT
Yet, it's history nonetheless

Oh, that's bullshite! Just because a crime was committed in the past, doesn't make it history we need to keep as nostalgic.

Arne
ionlyski

Trad climber
Kalispell, Montana
Jan 21, 2012 - 06:30pm PT
Mount Rushmore is history too, yet as the Lakota people know, it should be bull dozed.

Maestri's attempt wasn't a route and none of us are obligated to keep it.
Scole

Trad climber
San Diego
Jan 21, 2012 - 06:37pm PT
I have to weigh in on the side against chopping the compressor route.It is pretty arrogant to assume that a route done well before these guys were born is invalid. To be sure there were too many bolts, and there were obvious cracks nearby, but when the route was first climbed there was no modern gear,nailing those big flakes would be much harder than it is with cams, and speed climbing wasn't even a concept.

There are lots of bolted routes that I don't approve of, but that does not mean I can, or do, chop at will. Same thing goes here, if you don't like it, don't climb it, but leave historical routes alone. Chopping on rap is no better than drilling on rap.

If you haven't climbed the route, how can you judge it: How can you form an opinion without personal experience?

Scott Cole
Jim Brennan

Trad climber
Vancouver Canada
Jan 21, 2012 - 06:43pm PT
Giggio,

LovesGasoline is a bit dramatic in stating Kruk and Kennedy are "Sons of Maestri".

Their actions are the refreshing and uncomfortable benefit of idealism.

The youth can take it. They having a thick skin of progressive thinking that keeps the status quo as a historical reference, while shaking things up.

As the facts stand, the bolt ladders have been replaced by a 5.11/A2 granite wall style of climbing. I don't know what A2 means these days but previously it wasn't hard just awkward... And anything 5.11 could be hooked or aided if conditions dictated.

stefano607518

Trad climber
italy/austria/switzerland
Jan 21, 2012 - 06:44pm PT
ehy michi fro CH...
i am italian, i climb everywere...
i live in switzerland

i think you guys in switzerland cannot really speak against the bolts ;-)

trad is not is not well known in switzerland... many routes were bolted even in the N-Eiger...

a little paradise in at the grimsell pass....

let´s see how long it stays before the make a mandatory insurance from climbers in CH....


philo

Trad climber
Somewhere halfway over the rainbow
Jan 21, 2012 - 06:47pm PT
What Maestri did to Cerro Torre is akin to what Laszlo Toth did to to Michelangelo's La Pieta'.
A crime against us all.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laszlo_Toth
sempervirens

climber
Jan 21, 2012 - 06:52pm PT
How did they haul the gas-powered compressor? How much would that thing weigh? That's a bit of a feat in itself, isn't it?
MarkWestman

Trad climber
Talkeetna, Alaska
Jan 21, 2012 - 07:01pm PT
Oh, that's bullshite! Just because a crime was committed in the past, doesn't make it history we need to keep as nostalgic.

Arne

Says you. Plenty of others on here say different. Who gets to decide?

I think calling this a "crime" is hyperbole. Controversy is more accurate. Killing someone would be an example of a crime. Stealing a climb from the future generation, controversial as it is, still isn't a crime.
philo

Trad climber
Somewhere halfway over the rainbow
Jan 21, 2012 - 07:11pm PT
Again I humbly ask where was all this outrage when self aggrandizing David Lama pulled his publicity stunt? He added 60 bolts next to cracks and dumped his junk all over the mountain and barely a peep from our Italian friends. But OMG two quiet and competent alpinists finally accomplish a by fair means ascent and do a little litter retrieval and clean up and it's like they shot the pope.

History or no look at the pictures. It was a travesty and an eyesore.
The wall is still there by the way just not all of the overabundant bolts.
Go bat hook up it if pegboard aid climbing is your thing.

Everyone who climbed the "Bolt Route" can still claim to have done so.
No one took that away from them.
ionlyski

Trad climber
Kalispell, Montana
Jan 21, 2012 - 07:14pm PT
When you take probably the sharpest, granite incisor on the planet, and put the combustion engine to it, it's a crime. Let's not sidestep it.
Kimbo

Boulder climber
seattle
Jan 21, 2012 - 07:14pm PT
Some passing thoughts....

-can the removal of the bolts be considered anything BUT a complete disregard for prevailing local opinions? (an earlier post linked to info regarding an '07 meeting where 75% voted to leave the bolts in place.)

-is it not disrespectful to go into another's country and impose one's will in this fashion? (to state this is what maestri did is a rather poor justification, since one act of vandalism never justifies another.)

-will this draw authorities into the game, regulating access, style, etc. etc.?

-will the bolts be replaced? it seems to me that if anyone cared to undertake such a cause, very good arguments could be made to the people who really get to decide what happens here: Argentinians and their government.
nature

climber
Aridzona for now Denver.... here I come...
Jan 21, 2012 - 07:17pm PT
(to state this is what maestri did is a rather poor justification, since one act of vandalism never justifies another.)

this opinion holds no validity. it's simply your opinion and thus no conclusion can be made to your prior statement
philo

Trad climber
Somewhere halfway over the rainbow
Jan 21, 2012 - 07:25pm PT
This is worth reposting. Please try to read it throughly.

Pampero

Trad climber
Buenos Aires, Argentina

Jan 20, 2012 - 02:56pm PT
It was january 16th., 1965. If interested, here follows the real cronology and facts about the Compressor Route on Cerro Torre that began when with Fonrouge we were at the top of Cerro Fitz Roy via the Supercanaleta in the second absolute ascent of this mountain. Because this beatiful and exigent mountain merits the most from climbers we did it in alpine style, mostly in simulclimbing, without fixed ropes, siege attacks or artificial weaponry. Behind and below us the fantastic Cerro Torre in clear skies showed with brightness his beatifull icy shape. Time afterwards - I guess it was 1966 or 1967 - at a table of a bar in Buenos Aires with Douglas Haston, Mike Burke and (was there also Martin Boysen?) we were dreamming about giving a try Co. Torre thru the Southeast Ridge and our fingers traced an ideal line over the SE ridge of one of our Co. Torre's photos we took from Fitz Roy summit. Sometime after, Fonrouge joined the British team that arrived high in this line but misteriously stopped before the icy towers. Wonder how the famous expedition rawplug dissapear...? Don't know by sure, but I always remember the conversation I had with Fonrouge at home - and his decision - after our meeting with Haston and friends at the bar that we'll never use an spit. And I also said thst...to give a try to this empoisoned mountain by Maestri's 1959's claim was a nonsense having manny other virgen summits to make. Later, in january 1970 Maestri asked to meet us in Buenos Aires when he decided to make an attempt to the Southeast Ridge and looked for details of the line but didn't mention the use of a compressor and gave us the idea to try the climb by fair means. As it is known they didn't make the summit this time. Weeks after their return I was in Italy for business reasons and he invited me to Maddona were we spent some time talking about his programmed new intent to Cerro Torre in the following southamerican 1970 winter. No words were said about the use of a compressor for drilling holes to plug spits. Upon his return from patagonia having used the compressor and claiming for his new line on the SE ridge - and also mentionning that the top mushroom was not the true summit-, more doubts appeared about his 1959's line statements. Living for professional reasons in Milan-Italy, since late 1973, I had many contacts with the Ragni Group and got an idea about the national battle around Cerro Torre's Maestri claims at the time of his public statement directed to the Ragni Group saying that his climbs were discussed by whom couldn't climb Cerro Torre. Casimiro Ferrari's answer to Maestri was that the Ragni Group climbs mountains that can prove they climb and start to organize another attack to the west face of Torre. As we know today they made the true first ascent of the mountain. More recently Garibotti, Salvaterra and Beltrame proved that no one had transit before the line claimed by Maestri. In my name and the others that resign the dream to climb for first this fantastic mountain I claim for our rights to delete from the walls of Cerro Torre all the remainings - compressor inclusive - of the rape made by Maestri in the 70's and I think that no one - for any reason - can have more rigths than ours.
Carlos Comesaña

And again for emphasis.

In my name and the others that resign the dream to climb for first this fantastic mountain I claim for our rights to delete from the walls of Cerro Torre all the remainings - compressor inclusive - of the rape made by Maestri in the 70's and I think that no one - for any reason - can have more rigths than ours.
Carlos Comesaña
philo

Trad climber
Somewhere halfway over the rainbow
Jan 21, 2012 - 07:33pm PT
Is this really the history some of you want preserved?
photo not found
Missing photo ID#234433
A heritage of SHAME.
MarkWestman

Trad climber
Talkeetna, Alaska
Jan 21, 2012 - 07:39pm PT
When you take probably the sharpest, granite incisor on the planet, and put the combustion engine to it, it's a crime. Let's not sidestep it.

Call it what you want. What do you call invoking respect for the mountains and environment as justification for removing some (not all) of many 3" pieces of metal from a mountain (and in the process infuriating a significant portion of the community) after having flown 10,000 miles in jet airplanes from North America in order to do so?

As an aside, perhaps building a town (Chalten) that is entirely run on gigantic diesel fueled generators, teeming with tourists and infrastructure at the foot of the mountain, and which has caused an astronomical increase in visitation and resultant environment degradation might be considered a crime as well.

For the record, I'm not one of the infuriated and I won't be losing sleep over the loss of this route. In the long run everything will be peachy, better perhaps. Unless somebody goes back up and starts drilling again.

I like stirring the pot over semantics and hyperbole, sorry. :)
Bababata

Mountain climber
Utopia
Jan 21, 2012 - 07:42pm PT
The history argument is ridiculous - the history will remain whether the bolts are there or not. It's not the bolts that make history, it's the story. And the story is even better now.

We should be thanking Hayden and Jason, not reprimanding them.
The new generation is taking over, whether you like it or not. You ol' farts can foam all you want in front of your computers, trying to protect your frail egos and hurt ambitions. Largo said it best.

Move on. There are plenty of other mountains to climb. If you're not good enough to climb the most difficult and most beautiful one by fair and honest means, then pick one that suits your skill level and moral values better.

Hayden and Jason, thank you for resurrecting the impossible. And stay strong!
Kimbo

Boulder climber
seattle
Jan 21, 2012 - 07:43pm PT
this opinion holds no validity. it's simply your opinion and thus no conclusion can be made to your prior statement

i do believe the "opinion" holds validity:

a vote was taken, 75% of participants (including argentinian park rangers) voted NOT to remove bolts.

This consensual precedent was entirely ignored by the two climbers.

While perhaps not meeting any "legal" definition of "vandalism" (i'm not sure of the vagaries of local law down there), it certainly meets the definition in spirit.

There is a chance that this reckless feckless act by two youngsters will change the climbing climate in that region in ways no-one can foresee.
healyje

Trad climber
Portland, Oregon
Jan 21, 2012 - 07:44pm PT
What do you call invoking respect for the mountains and environment as justification for removing some (not all) of many 3" pieces of metal from a mountain...?

Public service.
Kimbo

Boulder climber
seattle
Jan 21, 2012 - 07:48pm PT
Is national sovereignty a consideration for any who support the actions taken by the two youngsters?

Is local opinion a consideration for any who support the actions taken by the two youngsters?

just curious, since it seems little discussed.
MarkWestman

Trad climber
Talkeetna, Alaska
Jan 21, 2012 - 07:49pm PT
Public service.

The portion of the public that shares your ethics, you mean. ;)
Kimbo

Boulder climber
seattle
Jan 21, 2012 - 07:51pm PT
Public service.

@jhealy:

isn't "public service" something that serves the interests of the "public"?

What if the "public" is against the "service"?

philo

Trad climber
Somewhere halfway over the rainbow
Jan 21, 2012 - 07:52pm PT
^^^ Much of the public is for the service. ^^^

Or would you advocate for monuments to failed hubris and environmental insensitivity?
When does liter left behind become hallowed artifacts?


Is national sovereignty a consideration when foreign climbers place bolts?
Kimbo

Boulder climber
seattle
Jan 21, 2012 - 07:56pm PT
Is national sovereignty a consideration when foreign climbers place bolts?

certainly should be, don't you think?

i can't imagine going into someone else's homeland and either placing bolts or removing bolts, especially without an attempt to understand the local's opinion on the matter.
healyje

Trad climber
Portland, Oregon
Jan 21, 2012 - 07:58pm PT
What if the "public" is against the "service"?

I have no doubt commercial guides and folks wanting a bolt ladder up CT will be publicly and vocally indignant, but neither opportunity was available before the gasoline-powered rape of the stone.
deuce4

climber
Hobart, Australia
Jan 21, 2012 - 07:59pm PT
We climbed to highest of the ice towers on top of the headwall, but not to the final summit mushroom, and Rolo's already made a point of stating that we didn't "truly" climb the thing. But it was a cool adventure, about 14 hours of fun climbing from the shoulder, and we still got the awesome 360 degree view on top out to the barren lands around (complete with a solo lenticular cloud perfectly formed and coming at us fast--the only one in the sky).

Back then, in 1993, it was soon after a film was made (with helicopter support), and the rumour was that the natural bridge to the final summit mushroom collapsed after the film crew carved out a cave with a chainsaw below the ice bridge. The final summit wasn't climbed for many years after that, apparently, until some folks brought 5' snow stakes to aid their way up the steeply overhanging final 25' of the summit mushroom (which is composed of highly aerated ice).

I often wonder how that aspect of the climb has been dealt with by more recent teams, or if the ice bridge has naturally returned. I always figured it would be good if someone left a stash of the 5' snow stakes for subsequent parties, but then again, the "fair means" could then have been heavily questioned by the pundits as well.

ps, that photo that is going around of pitch 10 is not really representative of the whole route, but it is odd that there are so many bolts in that area. My personal speculation is that Maestri was testing out his compressor, as below that point there are not a lot of bolted sections. He was probably waiting out some weather and just drilled the funk out of things out of boredom, I reckon. It is in a bit of a sheltered spot. It does make obvious, though, that respect for the mountain was not a prime consideration in his ascent.

Kimbo

Boulder climber
seattle
Jan 21, 2012 - 08:03pm PT
^^^ Much of the public is for the service. ^^^

you make a rather bold jump to a tenuous and insecure conclusion.

we have very little data on who is for what (loud proclamations on rather anonymous bulletin boards notwithstanding).

the only "consensus" i'm aware of is the '07 meeting where 75% voted to keep the bolts in place.

and, are you not a supporter of localism and democracy? where citizens and locals get to decide what happens on their land?

i know i'd be pissed if someone came into my climbing haunts and took it upon themselves to start removing routes they disagreed with.
Kimbo

Boulder climber
seattle
Jan 21, 2012 - 08:09pm PT
I have no doubt commercial guides and folks wanting a bolt ladder up CT will be publicly and vocally indignant, but neither opportunity was available before the gasoline-powered rape of the stone.

that's a nice argument, but elides my point:

develop locally informed consensus, and respect the result. you know, democracy in action?

after all, it IS an argentinian mountain, and all foreigners traveling there are GUESTS of the country.
philo

Trad climber
Somewhere halfway over the rainbow
Jan 21, 2012 - 08:15pm PT
Climber's do it all the time. They travel to exotic locales and put up routes by any means chosen often bolting routes to their hearts content. Are they asking the Pakastanis or Chinese or any locals if they mind them bolting their mountains?
We are not talking some home town crag here.
Gym rats, pad people and Joe Gumbies are not lining up to do the Compressor Route.
It is a different breed of beast that goes for these routes. Shouldn't they be the challenge the mountain provides not the one that man steals away with artifice and contrivance?



Kimbo

Boulder climber
seattle
Jan 21, 2012 - 08:16pm PT
and, to run with your "commercial interests" angle for a moment:

if any Argentinians are economically hurt by the actions of these two youngsters, i would unequivocally support their right to re-establish a route that had existed for what, 4+ decades?

to neglect consideration of the livelyhood of locals in favor of some abstract effete "purity" in "rock-climbing" reeks of the most misguided elitism i can imagine.
Kimbo

Boulder climber
seattle
Jan 21, 2012 - 08:29pm PT
Climber's do it all the time. They travel to exotic locales and put up routes by any means chosen often bolting routes to their hearts content. Are they asking the Pakastanis or Chinese or any locals if they mind them bolting their mountains?

often climbers do not consult with locals, but always they should. basic human respect. i think climbers more and more will be running into problems because of their disregard for local opinion. we see it all the time.

Shouldn't they be the challenge the mountain provides not the one that man steals away with artifice and contrivance?

climbing IS "artifice and contrivance", just as surely as any other sport, hobby, or game we humans engage in.

"don't use bolts. use bolts, when necessary (and I'LL define when necessary!), use ropes, no ropes, no oxygen, don't use chalk, must go barefoot and naked" WTF! climbing is way way more contrived and silly than most any game i can think of.

if climbing had no "artifice and contrivance", we wouldn't be having this discussion, because you wouldn't have your arbitrary "rules" to follow.
MarkWestman

Trad climber
Talkeetna, Alaska
Jan 21, 2012 - 08:55pm PT
I have no doubt commercial guides and folks wanting a bolt ladder up CT will be publicly and vocally indignant, but neither opportunity was available before the gasoline-powered rape of the stone.

I wasn't aware that commercially guided expeditions to Cerro Torre were available EVER. I'm sure over time someone has ropegunned a friend or acquaintance up the thing one on one in exchange for beer or a date with their sister but I haven't seen The Mazamas or Mountaineers basic scrambles course queuing up at Norwegos, much less AAI or RMI.

healyje

Trad climber
Portland, Oregon
Jan 21, 2012 - 08:57pm PT
if any Argentinians are economically hurt by the actions of these two youngsters, i would unequivocally support their right to re-establish a route that had existed for what, 4+ decades?

to neglect consideration of the livelyhood of locals in favor of some abstract effete "purity" in "rock-climbing" reeks of the most misguided elitism i can imagine.

If commercial considerations are to rule over a restoration of the route then, by all means, it should be a via feratta that gets put back up so as to maximize the opportunities - lordy, we wouldn't want to discriminate against anyone. A real local development opportunity no doubt or anyone making a living off Maestri's bolts should find other work.
Kimbo

Boulder climber
seattle
Jan 21, 2012 - 08:59pm PT
and one more @ healyje:

again, speaking of "commercial interests"-

I'll posit that the two climbers' removal of the bolts makes their adventure potentially WAYYYYY more lucrative than simply climbing a rather pedestrian 5.11 A2 up the side of the mountain.

MarkWestman

Trad climber
Talkeetna, Alaska
Jan 21, 2012 - 09:03pm PT
@Philo: Shouldn't they be the challenge the mountain provides not the one that man steals away with artifice and contrivance?

I think it's ironic that even with the convenience of the bolt ladders and fixed belays it took 42 years for climbers to find a better way up this route, and it goes at 5.11/A2. Seems like the challenge that everyone complains was 'stolen' has been there all along, and until now has defeated all suitors despite the access pass the Maestri line provided. Or, perhaps, the Maestri line narrowed people's focus into summitting rather than exploring.
Either way, 4 decades later it took two of the most talented among us to figure it out.
Kimbo

Boulder climber
seattle
Jan 21, 2012 - 09:06pm PT
If commercial considerations are to rule over a restoration of the route

not really a "restoration", from what I gather. Actually, quite the opposite: a destruction of the most popular(?) route on Cerro Torre (and a relic speaking to one man's Fitzcarraldo episode).

by all means, it should be a via feratta that gets put back up so as to maximize the opportunities - lordy, we wouldn't want to discriminate against anyone. A real local development opportunity no doubt.

no via ferrata was needed, since the old relic served just fine. Now, unfortunately, we might just end up with one.
MarkWestman

Trad climber
Talkeetna, Alaska
Jan 21, 2012 - 09:16pm PT
if any Argentinians are economically hurt by the actions of these two youngsters,

There won't be. The route is not a guide route and never has been. The Argentinian locals make their money off throngs of tourists who go on "ice walks" at the foot of the Torre Glacier. Which by the way is melting incredibly fast. The foot of it is nearly unrecognizable compared to only 2-3 years ago.
Mighty Hiker

climber
Vancouver, B.C.
Jan 21, 2012 - 09:19pm PT
Thank you to the many European and South American, and other international climbers, who have taken the trouble to post here - usually in English, too. It adds needed perspective to the discussion.

Is there any further first-hand news as to what Jason and Hayden actually did? Apart, that is, from the photo of someone holding about 100 bolt-like thingies, that were allegedly removed?
Melissa

Gym climber
berkeley, ca
Jan 21, 2012 - 09:21pm PT
Anders, translate the S. American interview w/ Google if you don't read spanish. It does a decent job, and the direct translations (pressure spikes) are amusing.
Kimbo

Sport climber
seattle
Jan 21, 2012 - 09:21pm PT
There won't be. The route is not a guide route and never has been. The Argentinian locals make their money off throngs of tourists who go on "ice walks" at the foot of the Torre Glacier. Which by the way is melting incredibly fast. The foot of it is nearly unrecognizable compared to only 2-3 years ago.

thanks for info.
New Age II

climber
Jan 21, 2012 - 09:32pm PT
When there is someone who will make the freedom of the road you can say .... good.
This news is nothing .... are two young people who have only made ​​the cool ....... even if they were the best in the world ..... even if they had released a 5.16a route .... .....
Randisi

Boulder climber
Dalian, Liaoning
Jan 21, 2012 - 09:36pm PT
So I have to imagine the entire line wasn't erased. How many pitches have changed? How much has this - admittedly tiny - topo changed?

Credit: Randisi

What will the new variation/route be called?
tradmanclimbs

Ice climber
Pomfert VT
Jan 21, 2012 - 09:45pm PT
Deuce4. I bet it is more likly that he built a large hanging camp there? Probly had the compressor anchored there, a bunch of fuel etc? just a wild arsed guess but it looks about as bolted up as some aid belays that I have seen photos of from the valley... if the bolting started for real @ that point then it makes perfect sense that the compressor was bolted there for awhile.

healyj is just an anti bolt freakshow on the order of a crazed republican talking about gun rights, abortion and entitlements so I do not expect any rationol thought about the subject from him. Philo on the otherhand I like you and you are dissapointing me with your myopic view on this. There is a long tradition of climbers traveling the world putting up routs. It is very accepted. Weather or not you agree with the style of the compressor route it was a trade route. The thought of forigners chopping trade routes anywheres it just terrible. Especially in national parks! Get a grip and take an honest look at how most of us americans would feel if any damn outsiders chopped one of our trade routes? Think of the jail time a furriner would get for messing with the cable route? probobly end up in Gitmo.

Even though the compressor rout was most likly over my head I never respected it and would not have minded at all if the locals had chopped the route. For and american to go to annother country however and tell them how to to climb by chopping their trade route just makes me cring with embaresment.
Jim Brennan

Trad climber
Vancouver Canada
Jan 21, 2012 - 09:48pm PT
Kimbo,

Who exactly should give a sh#t about the locals ?

My experience with "locals" from any area that all want to share in, is that the locals are too satisfied with themselves to look beyond what has gone before.

Some local guides are upset that they can't procede with commerce as easily ?

Maybe a career involving 6 months of work in a 12 month year is what it is... The groups most interested in ease of access aren't totally forthcoming in this discussion.

They could be possibly looking for an easier way to the top than what they would've sought in their past youthful idealism as it relates to chance and discomfort.
New Age II

climber
Jan 21, 2012 - 09:59pm PT
the two young men could make their beautiful street ... once you reach the top, without breaking down the bolts of the Masters. So great were the Mountaineers .... instead they thought with the head of other climbers .. and they are crap!
Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
Jan 21, 2012 - 10:00pm PT
> How many pitches were changed?

From Rolo's post which started this thread:
"... the entire headwall and one of the pitches below."

3.5 headwall pitches + 1 below = 4.5 (judging from the full sized topo)

102 / 450 bolts (450 count from Alpinist article)

[Edit:]
Bolt counts/estimates:
360 Rolo's online guide: http://www.pataclimb.com/climbingareas/chalten/torregroup/torre/SEridge.html
400 Rolo's 2007 article: http://www.pataclimb.com/knowledge/articles/CTbolts.html
450 Alpinist article: http://www.alpinist.com/doc/web10s/newswire-david-lama-compressor-bolts
Clyde

Mountain climber
Boulder
Jan 21, 2012 - 10:02pm PT
Interesting thread. Seems like the defenders of the bolts are relying on 'history' as their excuse for preservation (plus wanting to climb a peak they couldn't do otherwise). Yet they ignore the context of the earlier controversy. If this route had been put up as it was without prior context, I'd agree removing the bolts was a bad choice. Given that Maestri went there with the goal of saying 'f*#k you' to the entire climbing world, it's silly to argue it was even close to an acceptable style of the time. I, for one, am glad some in the climbing world finally had the balls to say 'f*#k you' back.

My opinion doesn't count, of course, I'm just an arrogant American who has never been there. Don't really care about which nation's climbers 'own' the rock and get to decide either-that's an equally silly argument that ignores a century of climbing history, not to mention an eon of human history, around the world.

Glad the bolts are gone, the climbing world is better for it. I'd buy one if they go up on Ebay and the money went towards park preservation.
New Age II

climber
Jan 21, 2012 - 10:07pm PT
French Canadian Italian Americans, etc. ... this is not the speech ... The theme is another.
If these two boys have gone for a variant, why remove the bolts on the Masters? The two other boys used to go up bolts?? YES
Snorky

Trad climber
Carbondale, CO
Jan 21, 2012 - 10:14pm PT
Or, perhaps, the Maestri line narrowed people's focus into summitting rather than exploring.

Exactly.

5.11 A2 was being climbed by 1970. A little exploring indeed yielded a more natural line. The bolts clearly generated a tunnel vision effect.
stefano607518

Trad climber
italy/austria/switzerland
Jan 21, 2012 - 10:17pm PT
:) i am imagining the nose unbolted......
would it be fine for you guys around may??? or shall we wait for an anniversary date of the first ascent????
which one has to be considered the first?? first free, first tourist on the top ot first to sleep below the grat roof?

citing Rolo's first post

"as it was, and it should be"

Jim Brennan

Trad climber
Vancouver Canada
Jan 21, 2012 - 10:24pm PT
What ever Stefano. Then the indignant here could erase the directissma freed by a Huber on the Tre Cime di Laverado.

What fun and a great way to right all wrongs real or imagined...
philo

Trad climber
Somewhere halfway over the rainbow
Jan 21, 2012 - 10:31pm PT
Please by all means clean up the Nose. And the Jardine travesty too while you're at it.
bmacd

Mountain climber
100% Canadian
Jan 21, 2012 - 10:33pm PT
The only thing greater than Cerro Torre itself, is the absolute & utter stupidity of logic, presented by those whom argue against, a Canadian & an American, chopping an Italian bolt ladder, which desecrated an Argentinian peak, whom there by righted, the single greatest wrong, in the entire history of climbing.
New Age II

climber
Jan 21, 2012 - 10:33pm PT
Eventually, a great climber as Rolo, should try to make the path of the compressor for free. Only then can decide to break the bolts. But the level to make the compressor for free does not. So if you want to do the variations, but should not break the bolts on the Maestri. Who is he to decide??
philo

Trad climber
Somewhere halfway over the rainbow
Jan 21, 2012 - 10:48pm PT
Well now the headwall is clean and ready for the great climbers of the future to show the way.
Maestri should have looked for a more natural line or gone home and waited for someone skilled and driven enough to ascend the mountain or fair terms.
New Age II

climber
Jan 21, 2012 - 10:51pm PT
Tell Philo .... we wait for some person who clears the headwall before making Cumbre??
Do you agree with me that the two young people have not done anything important? Apart from burning the story of a street??
philo

Trad climber
Somewhere halfway over the rainbow
Jan 21, 2012 - 10:55pm PT
I don't agree with you. Kruk & Kennedy climbed a very significant new line in an amazingly fast time.
The finally accomplished what so many before couldn't.
Lovegasoline

Trad climber
Sh#t Hole, Brooklyn, NY
Jan 21, 2012 - 10:55pm PT
"Who are we to decide what was a good or a bad style those days, which route comes next?"

Largo writes:
Answer: The two climbers who just free climbed the thing. They didn't ask for my permission, and I hope they would consider our opinions about them none of their business. That's how you have to think if you're forging new worlds.

The parade has already passed by the ones of us who wonder. To those out on the thin end of the wedge, it's not a matter of right or wrong. It's always a matter of: Can I do this. And if I can, I will. No complaining and no explaining. That's for the rest of us - looking at the ass end of the parade, slowly receeding . . .


That logic has failed.

What new worlds are being forged? A2, 5.11 in 2012 ... a new world? Sounds like a throwback to the 1970s. Including the reactions: is everyone stoned? Outside the imprimatur of Maestri and history, and a very public chopping of bolts riding the coattails of controversy in magazines (and now the internet) what does A2, 5.11 get one these days? Certainly not center stage in the climbing world. For that you need to either set the bar where it is out of reach, or court controversy and scandal.

Why are the Argentine Police holding the bolts? If Largo's logic held, why didn't Kruk and Kennedy imperiously order the Police who confiscated the bolts they bootied (or stole, depending on one's ethical and national orientation) to "move aside, we're forging new worlds and it's not the Argentinians' business". The fact of the matter is that it is quite a lot of people's business. Kruk and Kennedy will discover that in the days, weeks, months, years, and decades to come. Just as Maestri did.

To focus on the real issue at hand: how exactly is the chopping of bolts a matter of "Can I do this. And if I can I will. No complaining and no explaining"?

Maybe you have it pegged Largo, and I do not pretend to speak with the authority of history or to have the true line on prognostication, but my money says that them boys are not the Nietzschian Übermensch you describe. The fact that an Argentine LEO is holding 'their' prized bootied Maestri bolts suggests that they have already done plenty of explaining to Argentine authorities, and will be doing plenty more explaining to various constituencies in the future for some time to come. In fact for all we know, they may be at this very minute consulting with various PR agents, spin doctors of the outdoor industry, peers and elders, magazine editors, etc. etc. etc. in order to carefully craft their public statements with political correctives in mind.

The parade has not passed. It is directly in front of our eyes and unraveling in real time.

Largo's modernist heroic view that the author/climber defines the meaning of his climb is a retrograde fantasy. One need only look to Maestri for a shining counter- example of that same delusion. We (posterity in the making) and History will decide and with little regard for what yesterday's two tiny specks on the flank of a mountain want us to think about their actions.

Sons of Maestri.


Devils Advocacy, Inc.
Jim Brennan

Trad climber
Vancouver Canada
Jan 21, 2012 - 11:02pm PT
Lovesgasoline,

Huh ?
philo

Trad climber
Somewhere halfway over the rainbow
Jan 21, 2012 - 11:13pm PT
Dude 5.11+A2 is no biggie in the Valley or at your home crag but in Patagonia on Cerro Torre IT IS a BIG DEAL.
Studly

Trad climber
WA
Jan 21, 2012 - 11:26pm PT
so if the new line is 5.11 A2 then they did not free the CM route or the new line. Isn't a all free ascent generally the accepted basis for redoing a route and renaming it. They didn't do this. So the original aid line with bolts is traded for another aid line with less bolts, and the original line chopped on rappel? Since when has this been done or been ok before?
By the way, I'm not knocking these guys fantastic job doing a new climb, just very curious as to their motives and reasons for chopping a route that has been there for over 40 years.
Chief

climber
The NW edge of The Hudson Bay
Jan 21, 2012 - 11:40pm PT
Will anyone police the bolt police?
philo

Trad climber
Somewhere halfway over the rainbow
Jan 21, 2012 - 11:44pm PT
I am eager to hear Kruk & Kennedy's perspective.
deuce4

climber
Hobart, Australia
Jan 22, 2012 - 12:03am PT
The original bolt count seems to inflate with every post--450 bolts?

Maestri placed a lot of bolts, but I'd like to hear from Ermanno or someone who has actually counted them for a more accurate estimate. I recall about 5 1/2 pitches of bolt ladders--the "90 Meter Traverse" (2 pitches), and one section after that for about 20 meters, then the final headwall (3 pitches). Those ladders probably account for 175 or so bolts.

Has anyone actually counted?
Chief

climber
The NW edge of The Hudson Bay
Jan 22, 2012 - 12:44am PT
Most interesting situation.

The Maestri bolt ladders on Cerro Torre have long epitomized bolting run amok and the imposition of technology on the seemingly impossible.
For many of us, The Compressor Route has stood as a dark example of how not to climb a mountain.

I've placed a few bolts in my time, some seemed defensible and others maybe not.
Gordie Smaill suggested "The reason for bolts is similar to why Chinese learn English: a necessary evil to cope with new innovations."
He also suggested "when you place a bolt, it's for your comfort and not someone else's."

We climbers like simple answers to complex questions and zealously carve up amorphous considerations with rigid ideological cookie cutters.
Maybe the Cerro Torre thing is cut and dried, long overdue and will be relegated to a tempest in a teacup. I'm inclined to ponder a couple questions.

Was it necessary to chop the bolts to make a statement about their appropriateness?

If the bolts needed to go, was it Jason's and Hayden's right or responsibility to unilaterally do the job?

Was it "neighborly" behavior?

Peace,

PB
Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Jan 22, 2012 - 01:23am PT
The fact of the matter is that it is quite a lot of people's business.
--

Lovegsolone, you missed the point on that rant of yours. I made no evaluation as to the merits of what the two climbers did. My point is that in the moment of actual doing, what you or I think about the Compresso route had nothing whatsoever to do with what the boys did up there. I have no doubt that many will try and MAKE it there businenss after the fact, but the fact has already marched past - should we like it or not is irrelevant, and is our issue, not theirs.

This is a great thing because it separates out the doers from the speculators and gives people a chance to rag on American aggression. It's called stirring the pot and has nothing to do with 70s revisionist history.

Lastly, I think the goal was to find a natural way up the route. Removing the bolts was a consequence of finding and doing the route, and was not the sole motivation.

Again, for better or worse, the people doing the really outrageous stuff out there are simply not checking in with us as to our opinions. Such independent and direct action will never change with the vanguard - of this we can be sure.

JL

Toker Villain

Big Wall climber
Toquerville, Utah
Jan 22, 2012 - 01:24am PT
We are killing our oceans, overpopulating the earth, destroying the rain forests, soiling our air, but thank goodness all will be right with the world now that Cerro Torre has been consecrated.

It is amazing how worked up people get over this.

I love Coz but, GET OVER IT!

I swear that if a guy was able to inflate a parachute on the ground, fly up into the air, go up high enough to then hop into an airplane, there would be skydiving purists who would invalidate the feat claiming he did it in the wrong direction!
fsck

climber
Jan 22, 2012 - 01:28am PT
all this fuss about
metal installed by motor
and a spiteful heart

now she emerges
from her pro bono facelift
"i liked the old her"

fsck

climber
Jan 22, 2012 - 01:50am PT
bella guglia
vestita di grigio
baci a freddo
Snorky

Trad climber
Carbondale, CO
Jan 22, 2012 - 02:07am PT
Did I accidentally hit the wrong button?
Kinobi

climber
Jan 22, 2012 - 02:13am PT
I have seen a lot of topics, some interesting one.

Somebody mentioned Huber on Cima Grande: I have no clue if he soloed it "on sight", but I would be surprised. He probably soloed it "after" he tried the route. I don't remember well, but there are compression bolts placed by first climbers, and 4 bolts added by people who freed the first time the route, and he was Kurt Albert. So, if the guys on Torre were cleaning the bolts "on sight" and going up without clipping them, it would have been definitely "better".

Maestri showed no respect of Torre and climbing community. End of discussion.
In his previous attempt on Torre (an I not referring to '59) he went significantly up by very fairs means with very few protections.
He went back with a compressor and drilled a bunch of bolts. He got what technology offered him at that time. I am not that surprised in what he did at that time, with the "enviromental" knowledge of that time. Findings of massive dumpings on glaciers everywhere of trash, are common everywhere for example...But using technology, the best available, is "common" in mountains. I remember Alex Lowe, Jared Ogden, and Mark Synnott on Trango's using electric drill to place bolts-in at belays for example. So, I am sure, if Maestri had an electric drill, he would have used it instead of bringing up a piece of metal which was a huge task itself.

Finally, may be repeating it once more: I feel two kids have no rights to decide for a climbing community in a foreign land. And everybody should condemn them, for doing that. They probably should be sent to restore what they did (unpaid).

Best,
E
fsck

climber
Jan 22, 2012 - 02:27am PT
goddamn kids these days
they don't ask for permission
they just grab the keys

they've been out all night
crawling up cracks to the top
picking up garbage
Snorky

Trad climber
Carbondale, CO
Jan 22, 2012 - 02:39am PT
Hey, I'm just curious...

Were those bolts likely to still be safe? They don't look very stout, must have come out quite easily, and were getting on in years. They actually are just drilled pitons. Does anyone know the effective lifespan of such hardware in that environment, with all that extremo freeze/thaw? Furthermore, is there an organization equivalent to the ASCA down there, that replaces bad bolts on historic routes? How would the community have reacted to the Compressor Route eventually being retrofitted with modern bolts?
New Age II

climber
Jan 22, 2012 - 02:45am PT
You will get to replace the bolts with new material next year .....
Kinobi

climber
Jan 22, 2012 - 02:47am PT
Snorky: they are called "compression bolts" but we call them "impression bolts" in Dolomiti
Which means, yes, they are drilled rounded metal roads that, after +40 years "impress you" every time you clip them or you pull'em.

They are as safe as a 2.5 cm drilled in a hole and exposed to thousands of "frost and defrost" cycles.
Ciao,
E
Snorky

Trad climber
Carbondale, CO
Jan 22, 2012 - 03:00am PT
You will get to replace the bolts with new material next year .....

[Ed] I removed ebony peg idea so nobody steals it.

Might as well do permadraws. Just to lighten the load. Speed things up. Belay seats would be nice too, especially if they heat up and vibrate. Also need to install wifi up there. People need to check scores.

Thanks for the info Kinobi.
New Age II

climber
Jan 22, 2012 - 03:05am PT
No. .... Replace only the bolts on the slope of the Maestri ...... that's all.
Rather than clean up the base of the Colle della Pazienza ...... last year was full of abandoned fixed ropes! Those ropes were not Maestri of ......
Snorky

Trad climber
Carbondale, CO
Jan 22, 2012 - 03:25am PT
can't argue with that! ciao
healyje

Trad climber
Portland, Oregon
Jan 22, 2012 - 03:35am PT
He went back with a compressor and drilled a bunch of bolts. He got what technology offered him at that time. I am not that surprised in what he did at that time, with the "enviromental" knowledge of that time.

The area was designated a park in 1959 and a UNESCO site in 1970 - the same year as the first Earth Day. The "environmental knowledge" was public, open and there for anyone to adopt. The fact his climbs coincided with these dates is no small irony. How old are you? You don't seem to have a very good grip on the times.
Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
Jan 22, 2012 - 04:17am PT
Not enough photos!

Bolts - The 90m Traverse


Maestri 10 bolt "station" (at start of traverse), from below
(A1 crack on Salvaterra var. visible above, see more of that below)
(2 of these look like non-Maestri bolts)
http://colinhaley.blogspot.com/2011_02_01_archive.html


Start of The 90m Traverse
http://www.brasovia.com/events/patagonia/index.html


Continuation of The 90m Traverse (ice on the tat version)
http://www.brasovia.com/events/patagonia/index.html


traffic on the 90m traverse
http://mcsa.org.za/cpg/displayimage.php?album=24&pos=7

Non-Bolted


The Ice Chimney
http://www.brasovia.com/events/patagonia/index.html

More Bolts


It was Monika Kambic and partner Tanja Grmovsek’s second attempt;
just above the point of this photo, Kambic was hit by falling ice and suffered three broken ribs.
The pair persevered for the first all-female ascent of the peak. [Photo] Andrej Grmovsek
http://www.alpinist.com/doc/ALP11/climbing-note-grmovsek

Headwall


Looking down the headwall
http://mcsa.org.za/cpg/displayimage.php?album=24&pos=6


Looking up towards Compressor.
http://www.brasovia.com/events/patagonia/index.html


Looking down from the Compressor.
http://www.bmg.org.uk/index.php/eng/News/Cerro-Torre-peak-of-controversy


Rapping from the Compressor
http://kellycordes.wordpress.com/2010/06/25/cerro-torre-david-lama-and-red-bullshit/

Salvaterra variation (avoids 90m Traverse)


p1 (A1 crack), with bolt traverse visible to right
http://colinhaley.blogspot.com/2011_02_01_archive.html
(In 11/1971 - 2/72 there was a 10 ton ice block here, which made the Dickinson party take the bolt traverse,
and abandon plans to return to the 1968 Crew line).
http://c498469.r69.cf2.rackcdn.com/1973/dickin_torre1973_328-329.pdf
The ice mushroom was there again in 2007 for Wharton and Smith, and they found it could be bypassed on the left
(which is also the path David Lama took for his free ascent in 2012).


Zack Smith leading past one of the 8 bolts on the Salvaterra var.
http://colinhaley.blogspot.com/2011_02_01_archive.html


Rolo rapping down the Salvaterra var.
http://colinhaley.blogspot.com/2011_02_01_archive.html

Overview of route variations


http://pataclimb.com/climbingareas/chalten/torregroup/torre/SEridge.html

[Edit:]
Yes, Bruce, in different years the ice varies in location and risk:

 June 1970 (winter) - Maestri's initial attempt on the climb.
"The bolt traverse was climbed in the winter when a big snow mushroom blocked passage on the ridge itself." http://www.pataclimb.com/climbingareas/chalten/torregroup/torre/SEridge.html

 1971/72 Dickinson - could not take 1968 Crew line, due to a 10 ton ice block in the way,
so they took the 90m bolt traverse instead.
http://c498469.r69.cf2.rackcdn.com/1973/dickin_torre1973_328-329.pdf

 1979 Bridwell/Brewer - were nearly wiped out by falling ice blocks low on the route,
but happened to be at a spot where they could duck under an overhang.
Just below the headwall, Bridwell had to excavate 6-12 inches of ice to reach bolts.
http://c498469.r69.cf2.rackcdn.com/1980/375_bridwell_cerrotorre_aaj1980.pdf

 2005 in photo above, Kambic was hit by ice blocks coming off the headwall;
broke 3 ribs but she kept going.
bhilden

Trad climber
Mountain View, CA
Jan 22, 2012 - 04:33am PT
Interesting photos Clint. It's been 41 years since Maestri bolted his line and clearly some of the bolts look very unnecessary. It would be interesting
to know if, in some of the more egregious places, there was ice or some other obstacles blocking what appears to be a more logical line of ascent.
Big Mike

Trad climber
BC
Jan 22, 2012 - 04:46am PT
First of all I would like to thank Coz for not deleting the bolt ladders from the grand. I would never get up the thing otherwise :)

These sentiments have rung true for me..


our passage should go unnoticed among those mounts.

but our fear of change inhibits our purity.
maestri was pure afraid of dying. so he shot the place
foul of hole, to ensure his soul.

though really,
his soul was already consumed by fear.

death is his, boss.
and death defines many.

these fools flail wildly in all of their's pursuit.

we whom co-inherit death and life strive for purity of passage in
difficult realms.

the mounts are there, always receiving warriors and fools, alike.

they are beyond us. the mounts.
they are eternal.

but we, finite beings of soft flesh and vunerable systems
can exploit the high and cold and make less sense of their and of our world,

and according to this accepted confusion we've transcended the fear-mongers
whom murder every potential mystery with a submission of their spirit to god.

and,

brave young surgery
removing the vulgar scar
abusive lover

so, no more free rides
from inadequate suitors
or soulless lovers

we are so sorry
you have to try harder now
she's worth it, you know?

I remembered that Sonnie Trotter had chopped a route in Lake Louise a while back, this is what he had to say about it.

The Path is not a sport route that got chopped, it’s a
f*#king trad route that got bolted. I didn’t chop the
bolts so much as I restored the climb.

Besides, some of the bolts were in the wrong place anyway.

Someone once asked me if the Compressor route on Cerro
Torre should get chopped, my honest answer is this – I
don’t know enough about the climb to say one way or
the other. I am far too removed to make any sort of
judgment. How can I begin to think that I have the
voice to answer that question. In regards to the
Path, yes, I think the bolts should be removed, not
because I am happy with a hacksaw, but because the
climb is a safe, obvious, well protected trad climb
and NEVER should have been bolted in the first place.

It bugs me when people want to make climbing safe for
everyone, more accessible to everyone. Well then, why
don’t we bolt the blood out of every great crag and
then pave the road to the base, maybe around the side
of the Lake so we won’t have to walk as far, so
climbers won’t have to carry some cams, so that we
won’t have to get out of our cars to get coffee,
instead we can just sit in a ridiculous parade around
the parking lot, waving our money out the widow.

I did not remove the bolts to make any sort of
statement. I am against the practice of placing
expansion bolts next to cracks or other natural lines
than can otherwise be protected safely and easily. I
am not against bolting, I have put up tons of bolted
routes, and I love sport climbing (that plug was for
the guy who told me to “remember where I come from” as
though hard sport is all I’m allowed to do) but there
is a time and place for power drills. If I upheld a
lesser ethic, I would have chopped the East Face of
Monkey Face, but I didn’t because it is not my route
and I have too much respect for the F.A. to make any
changes. The Path however was abandoned and I had an
opportunity to make a decision for myself on how I
wanted this climb to be approached. If I never told
anyone that I removed bolts, would web surfers on
Gripped be having this discussion at all? The way I
see it, some things in this world need to remain
sacred and I stand behind that. F*#k it – even if
both climbs get retro bolted tomorrow (which I don’t
think will happen, as I know 3-4 people personally who
are all excited to give the route a go) then all I can
say is that I did what I thought was the best thing to
do for that particular climb and life goes on.

The path was put up as a project and abandoned. Could the compressor route not be called abandoned as well since he did not reach the summit, and then tried to erase his mistake on the way down??

More on the path here.

So I don't want Coz to delete my project, but I also disagree with placing so much hardware in the mountains... Hmmmm kinda hypocritical...

Just think, the next compressor route party has a chance to take a cordless and retro bolt it in decent fashion! :) Or summit the new headwall variant!
philo

Trad climber
Somewhere halfway over the rainbow
Jan 22, 2012 - 08:57am PT
Take another good look at those pictures and tell us honestly that the Bolt Route needs to be preserved.
To our Italian cousins, the disdain of this alpine travesty is not a referendum on nor a condemnation of Italy or Italians. It is a reaction to one man's horrible abuse. Nor is it a condemnation of Maestri's eearlier remarkable climbs. The first ascenionist could have been an American, an Armenian or an Eskimo and it would have made no difference.

tarallo

Trad climber
italy
Jan 22, 2012 - 09:00am PT
Foradaiball hai rotto i coglioni con le tue cazzate.
Translation:foradaiball you have broken the balls With your bullsh#t.go by your self without saying anything and chop the nose the salathe and so on ,so you are happy.
llkk

Trad climber
boulder
Jan 22, 2012 - 01:09pm PT
I dont agree with bunch of you guys

Anyway, this is what I think:
We , at least me, go to the mountains to climb because I love the heights the challenge the sunsets , a bit of fear, a bit of feeling out of human stupidity, this is why I love the quite mountains.
Then, Maestri, was for sure an arrogant old furt, but even though his adventure is respectable for me, since the access to Chalten was hard in those time, no transportation, bridges or sh#t, just human passion or ego was the motor, he took out the challenge of the mountain (what I disagree), because at that time was consider the hardest mountain with K2,
Anyway, Maestris route / attitude sucks
But, why this two young bastards have to go and take out the pitons, who are them more than two good climbers
And good climbers with 5.10 shoes, good meteo forecast, plane access airport is only few hs to base of the wall, so this is technological improvement that makes their way easier!
And on top of that, the local community of Chalten agreed in 2007 to leave the pitons as a cultural thing (we can agree or not) but, the kids are not the guys to take bolts out
Their attitude is arrogant , and sorry to say it but is a classical pushy attitude of competitive northamerican climber.......for me all this brought stupidity to the mountains what I hate
I like Chalten, but the vibe there sucks, rather climb a little peak 5 +- 3 pitches,
and you can think is mediocrity but I dont , because my experience is full and fullfils me , and thats the reason to go out there
the only reason

Just imagine any of us going and chopping Harding bolts because Lynn Hill free the Nose in 92? So, nobody would go there

Well guys, good enough, and have fun talking about all this bullsh#t

Any of us is dying from cancer, so not much to worry!

Bababata

Mountain climber
Utopia
Jan 22, 2012 - 01:21pm PT
@fòradaiball

I am not American. Sorry you feel so hurt over this.

ciao!
WBraun

climber
Jan 22, 2012 - 01:38pm PT
In Clint's photo's .... holy sh!t !!!!

That Maestri guy pulled out all stops on that thing. LOL

That's why if you're gonna do something do it "Big".

Jason & Hayden is just the "Big" karmic reaction for the other "Big"

It's over .... do the next "Big" ......
Kimbo

Sport climber
seattle
Jan 22, 2012 - 01:49pm PT
My point is that in the moment of actual doing, what you or I think about the Compresso route had nothing whatsoever to do with what the boys did up there. I have no doubt that many will try and MAKE it there businenss after the fact, but the fact has already marched past - should we like it or not is irrelevant, and is our issue, not theirs.

Yes.

True that what you nor I nor ANYONE else thought seems to have mattered very little to the "boys".

And there lies the problem:

The "boys" took it upon themselves to remove bolts from a climb that seemingly they didn't even do, and was immensely enjoyed by many others.

It seems that you pay homage to a world where "the able" make the rules, to hell with the others, let the "heroes" follow their passions! (5.11 A2?!?)

I used to myself, but I suppose my youthful passions have been tempered by a more consensual democratic approach to life and problem-solving
("passions" seem to be terrible decision-makers).
MarkWestman

Trad climber
Talkeetna, Alaska
Jan 22, 2012 - 02:07pm PT
Is somebody going to step up and finish the job, I wonder? Should be all or nothing regardless of the motive for it, but particularly if it was to clean up the mountain.

The mob and cop scene in Chalten won't make that a desirable task. After all the acrimony over this eyesore, it would be most lamentable if that remaining mess stayed up there but now serving no function. At least the old mess got put to use for climbing.
Hummerchine

Trad climber
East Wenatchee, WA
Jan 22, 2012 - 02:10pm PT
It is hard to imagine what Maestri was thinking when he put 10 bolts in that station (Clint's first photo posted)! He must have been having fun playing with his new compressor...

What bugs me the most about it is that he had the gall to leave the damn compressor up there! Like anybody would think that was cool. What a choade.

I agree with just about everything that has been posted, both pro and con! But I come up on the side that says they should have left the bolts alone. Chopping them really does reek of arrogance. Heck, I think the routes looks fun! I mean, if Maestri wanted to put in all that work to put in a bolted route that has obviously become popular...then let it be!

Also hard to imagine that those holes won't get filled back up anyway...
'Pass the Pitons' Pete

Big Wall climber
like Ontario, Canada, eh?
Jan 22, 2012 - 02:50pm PT
I've read every damn post on this thread, and I'm still not certain how I really feel about the whole chopping thing! Certainly everyone please keep posting photos so we can see more about what we're ranting about. I would also like to hear more detail from guys who have actually climbed the route, or at least rappelled it.

Also, we really need all of the Italian guys' posts translated into English, please.

 is it still viable to rappel the Compressor Route?

 which bits got chopped, and which remain?

 how do the local climbers feel about this now? We are mostly only reading the comments from wankers like me, who have never even been to the place!

 has there been any further action by the police?

I think my biggest concern is that the out-of-town lads took it upon themselves to do something that was considered and then specifically rejected after considering the consensus of locals. [It was described many pages above a 75% agreement the bolts should stay, and the specifics are below, thanks to Ezy] So why these guys? And why now? What gave them the right over everyone else? And why were these bolts knott removed years ago?

 accordingly, what were the reasons given by the locals that the Compressor Route should not be chopped? Convenience to reach the summit or descend from it? Historical significance? While the results of the vote are reproduced below, the reasons were not given, and they would certainly be interesting to hear.

 Request: can someone please post up various editorial comments from back in the day, specifically Ken Wilson's, and also Reinhold Messner's if you can find them, please.

 Question: could or should some of the pulled bolts be replaced? Could the holes be reused?

For instance, should "stupid" bolts next to useable cracks remain chopped, but should "legit" bolts that cross blank sections of rock to link climbable features be replaced?

Regardless, the holes should be patched with epoxy to render them as invisible as possible. There is not excuse for not doing this, as it is neither difficult nor time consuming.
philo

Trad climber
Somewhere halfway over the rainbow
Jan 22, 2012 - 03:43pm PT
Jason Kruk & Hayden Kennedy may be young but they are not boys.
Those cats are REAL MEN!
And if the route they established is the logical line to the summit of Cerro Torre then many, many future aspiring alpinists have not been robbed of a grand opportunity. It isn't as if they established a route that only they could do. And if some future uberbad uberrad climber sends the headwall in good style wouldn't that be a good thing.
Conversely you could have a hoard of David Lamas grid bolting the life and spirit out of the mountains and leaving a trashy legacy. I don't think that would be better.

Now if you folks who are so distraught about the cleaning down of the Bolt Route well then I have a list of American routes that could benefit from some proper clean up.
Peace Brothers.
ALPINEMAN

Trad climber
bogota
Jan 22, 2012 - 03:50pm PT
And if the route they established is the logical line to the summit of Cerro Torre

logical il cazzo!

logical is not another bolted line

I repeat: 5 bolts is the same concept of 300 bolts
philo

Trad climber
Somewhere halfway over the rainbow
Jan 22, 2012 - 03:54pm PT
5 bolts as opposed to 450.
Seems logical enough to me.
why not just hang a giant extension ladder up the headwall?
Clipping endless A0 bolts is not climbing it is masturbating.


Speaking of ladders, I wish they would pull that fukin Chinese ladder off of Everest.
ALPINEMAN

Trad climber
bogota
Jan 22, 2012 - 04:03pm PT
5 bolts as opposed to 450.
Seems logical enough to me.

NO, same idea, compressor everytime with you (lighter than Maestri)

this is "by fair means"?
Kinobi

climber
Jan 22, 2012 - 04:05pm PT
@ Philo:
I think you could easily be the son of Maestri and the brother of these kids.

Bottom line: who are these guys to decide what to do?
It does not matter if chopping was good or bad. Who are they to decide?
Ciao,
E

Kinobi

climber
Jan 22, 2012 - 04:22pm PT
With reference to:

"The area was designated a park in 1959 and a UNESCO site in 1970 - the same year as the first Earth Day. The "environmental knowledge" was public, open and there for anyone to adopt. The fact his climbs coincided with these dates is no small irony. How old are you? You don't seem to have a very good grip on the times. "

I am 42.
And I am on of the people cleaning in december 1994, the lower part of Pilastro Goretta (Aka Casarotto Route) on Fitz Roy. A few hundreds meters of old rope and a bunch of woden pitons (and some I still have here).
E
ezy

Mountain climber
Italy
Jan 22, 2012 - 04:24pm PT
bravo Kinobi!!!



Patagonian Democracy: On Lovers' Day (Mountain Lovers').
by Vicente Labate


On 14th February this year (2007), after a slide show by the Pou brothers, an assembly was held at Los Glaciares National Park Visitors' Centre, Lago Viedma Section, better known as El Chaltén, attended by climbers from several corners of the world: Venezuela, Brazil, Germany, Switzerland, The United States, Spain, Mexico, Chile and Argentina, together with both the president and secretary of the local Andean Club and the local Chief Ranger. The main objective of the meeting was to discuss the possible removal of expansion bolts placed by Cesare Maestri on Cerro Torre's south-western arête during his expedition in 1970, known as "The Compressor Route", the most criticized but also most frequently climbed route on the mountain. (I recommend reading the rather extensive story)

The idea of the meeting had been suggested by Ranger Carlos Duprez after an Argentinean climber had reported a party by the American team made up by Josh Wharton and Zach Martin, who had arrived at the park with the intention to climb the above mentioned arête without resorting to the bolts and if they accomplished their attempt they would descend by The Compressor Route with the idea of "cleaning" it by means of a device that they called "especial for the job"

At the end of the slide show people started to leave as it seemed that many didn't know what was going to happen. I approached Duprez and enquired about the meeting. I had hoped one of them would take up the role of moderator, but Carlos replied he was not going to do anything, they had only suggested the meeting and offered the premises for it to be held, and as they didn't understand much about the core of the affair they would comply with any decisions taken in the assembly. Despite the fact that it's practically impossible for a ranger to reach the "head wall" (hope to God they never will, for the sake of our independence!) we must bear in mind that the mountain stands within a national park created to protect the local biodiversity and the natural and CULTURAL Argentinean heritage.

Arguments in favour and against the removal of the bolts were put forward followed by voting for or against the expressed arguments keeping in sight the most relevant issues: the international climbing community as the main participants in the controversy, the National Park, the local community, Cerro Torre as a tourist goal and the mountain itself (with all the subjective mysticism of those aspiring to step on its summit, as long as "stepping" does not mean denigrating)

The National Park rangers abstained from voting, the local population had no idea of what a bolt was and therefore were not represented, and as us, the "Mohameds", go to the mountain, She was not present either. Only climbers had a vote.

If we take the assembly participants as the sample of a particular universe, they can be considered representative, since the meeting took place in the high season when the flow of international climbers is at its peak, and as the weather wasn't the ideal the whole climbing world spectrum was present.

During the meeting we attempted at the exposition of ideas without passing judgment, accepting and tolerating differing views, all aiming at a democratic agreement by means of a general vote. Everybody's say was precious, as it had been when signatures had been gathered for the Fitz Roy north pillar wouldn't be purchased by an economic group or when National Parks had been persuaded not to charge a climbing fee.?

It's worth mentioning the participation of some renowned climbers, such as Alex Huber or Iker Pou, making it clear that being well-known does not make their vote more significant, just famous. It's not necessary to be an elite
climber to understand the impact the bolts have had on the mountain and the climbing.

I should also mention that some Argentinean and Latin American climbers, beyond interpersonal relations, did not agree with granting foreigners the right to vote, mainly to those climbers from Europe, North America, Germany among others. However, as the history of Patagonian alpinism is written by everybody (by means of routes, attempts, with shelters, assemblies, etc) we did not repeat Maestri's mistake and allowed everybody's vote to lead us to an
answer.

Give Torre Its Wild Side Again
The mountain is not wild any more (needless to say we are not referring here to its whimsical weather changes), it stopped being wild the day the first occidental human gave it a name, a value, and particularly when the town of El Chaltén was founded in 1985. The mountain has not stopped being wild because of the number of bolts it has, but because there's a town which fully caters for all needs just a few walking hours away, with two supermarkets, satellite internet connection and a fully paved road straight to " The Patagonian Vegas", El Calafate (airport and casino included).

Not only the surrounded facilities and services have deprived it of its wildness, but what kind of doubt may there remain as to the easy accessibility these peaks have since a relatively accurate weather forecast can be obtained by phone or the Web at any moment?

Common Sense
Different interests coexist in this world, more often than not these interests are contradictory, and within that diversity we can find cultures, languages, food, buildings, etc. To accept this diversity is to accept ourselves / to accept our human nature.

Therefore, the search for Common Sense becomes imperative, especially in order not to tread on anybody else's rights. We are fully aware that our globalized society is still far from reaching this goal, but, why can't we, climbers, at least give it a try, since we make up a very reduced universe?

Ideas were put forward in an openly. The talk was carried out in Spanish but translators were available whenever necessary. We were all granted time and respect for our views to be expressed clearly and at ease. When every soul had their say, hands were raised to vote.

The Result
Hands were counted on the spot. Nobody said a word after the second group voted. From about 40 people, approximately 30 voted for the bolts to remain on the mountain.

Conclusion
Despite the fact we expressed our views, the issue is not over, lets be ready for growth an evolution.

In my opinion, this summer gave us the opportunity to say:

 No to bolt ladders on any mountain as from now.
 Yes to the search for common solutions.
 No to any kind of dominance, in ideas or actions.
 Yes to accepting history as part of our culture.

Vincente Labate

http://www.planetmountain.com/english/News/shownews1.lasso?l=2&keyid=35788
deuce4

climber
Hobart, Australia
Jan 22, 2012 - 04:26pm PT
After looking at the Pataclimb.com site, it looks to me like the "Fair Means" ascent has been a work in progress for some time, with successive teams working out clean variations to the SE ridge.

From what I can gather, it looks like Hayden and Kruk pulled off a complete "fair means" ascent, as the definition has evolved among a small number of actual players in the last couple decades.

I'm still a bit perplexed by the fact that the current fair-means definition seems to exclude bolt ladders but include the bolted belay stations (belays are part of climbing, too). The mountain nor the bolts know which ones fit into which category--just another hair splitting definition defined by infallible humans.

At first, chopping bolts on rappel seemed vindictive to me, but upon further reflection ("speculation", as Werner would remind me), at best, methinks the chopping of this classic route was a bit premature due to the fact that the bolted belays have still not been eliminated (my opinion--but then again, I would never consider chopping anyone else's creations, I'd just go somewhere else--the world is a big place). But in the end, the Compressor Route had it coming, just as John Long eloquently writes, the march was already in progress, we're all just bystanders watching the progression go by.

If anyone's that concerned, go down there and give it a go. Perhaps you might find that you too can climb it by the current "fair means" variants to the original route. There's probably a tiny tiny minority of folks whose level of ability would have enabled them to climb it with the compressor bolts, but not via the fair-means variations.

Primarily, the ante has likely been upped by the fact that the weather window needs to be that much more favourable (on the headwall pitches) to climb 5.11 rather than A1.

But again, it will be good to hear direct from the participants in this current saga of Cerro Torre.
ALPINEMAN

Trad climber
bogota
Jan 22, 2012 - 04:29pm PT
in the 2020, if other party don't use the 5 bolts variation... will be "by fair means" with the addiction "clean"?
Ron Anderson

Trad climber
USA Moundhouse Nev.
Jan 22, 2012 - 04:31pm PT
i bid 5.00 for the compressor..
Kimbo

Sport climber
seattle
Jan 22, 2012 - 04:44pm PT
@ EZY: thanks for posting that.

@ all who speak favorably of the hayden/kruk action: what is your thinking about the posted article?
philo

Trad climber
Somewhere halfway over the rainbow
Jan 22, 2012 - 04:46pm PT
@ Philo:
I think you could easily be the son of Maestri and the brother of these kids.

Nope I am just a humble Pollock way past his prime and old enough to be their proud father.

I am honestly sorry that this action has both stirred a controversial pot and marred what is otherwise quite a fantastic ascent by two young, talented and driven alpinists.
The post about the meeting in Chaltan does carry significant weight for your argument that they shouldn't have done the chopping without the approval of consensus.
So what do you feel should be done in the spirit of restorative justice?
enzolino

climber
Galgenen, Switzerland
Jan 22, 2012 - 04:51pm PT
Thanks Ezy!
Patagonian Democracy.
[...]
From about 40 people, approximately 30 voted for the bolts to remain on the mountain.
That's incredible!
Climbers decide democratically and two scherifs act ignoring people's opinion!!!
ALPINEMAN

Trad climber
bogota
Jan 22, 2012 - 04:53pm PT
american style
'Pass the Pitons' Pete

Big Wall climber
like Ontario, Canada, eh?
Jan 22, 2012 - 05:02pm PT
Come on, Alpineman - this wasn't something the US government did, so quit equating the actions of a couple guys with politics. I "get" that you're annoyed, but what you say is irrelevant and inflammatory.

Besides, one of the guys is a Canadian.

[Of course, no Canadian would ever do anything that might offend anyone. We would always ask permission first. And if we do get mad, about the worst we'll do is call you names. Please excuse me if the above post offended anyone]
mikeyschaefer

climber
Yosemite
Jan 22, 2012 - 05:06pm PT
Did you guys ever consider that all those cracks surrounding the bolts were full of ice at the time so he was forced to drill?

You always have a choice to drill a bolt. The only thing icy cracks have "forced" me to do in Patagonia was go down.
ALPINEMAN

Trad climber
bogota
Jan 22, 2012 - 05:21pm PT
mikey, but for the new bolt in (ex) compressor route what do you think?

you approved?

healyje

Trad climber
Portland, Oregon
Jan 22, 2012 - 05:28pm PT
Obviously, the majority I feel are on the side of leave them in, but the minority took it on themselves to impress their will on all of us.

You obviously somehow think thirty people better represent the world than two people. I'd say nothing whatsoever is obvious about a 'majority' on the topic.
dave

climber
Earth
Jan 22, 2012 - 05:33pm PT
When does liter left behind become hallowed artifacts?

50 years I believe in merika'

What will the new variation/route be called?

The KKK. Kennedy Kruk Kontroversey

Lots of good reading here, being that I'll never probably make it there, and aint a rich trustifarian who can go multiple times at that, I dont really have an opinion either way. BUT i can respect all opinions on this kontroversey (i know its spelled with a c)

So the only opinion I really have is that none of your opinions matter unless your argentinian.

Carry on.
Bababata

Mountain climber
Utopia
Jan 22, 2012 - 05:38pm PT
Indeed, how is it that forty random foreigners residing in El Chalten suddenly represent all of us? Locals were not included because they don't know what a bolt is, neither were park rangers, let alone for ordinary climbers across the world... Shouldn't a democratic vote include everyone? Or do those select 40 represent only the people that want to climb Cerro Torre? Or the people that "think" they can climb Cerro Torre?

I don't see the "democratic" aspects of that vote - please enlighten me.
MH2

climber
Jan 22, 2012 - 05:40pm PT

I had to translate one of the english-speaker's posts : mauerhakenstreit

Some interesting stuff, there:

"One thing only do I know: that I stand just about alone in my opinions, and whenever I expressed something of them, the answer was always: 'Quite an ideal point of view, but a crazy notion.' "

quote from Paul Preuss


Are you going to poll a bunch of climbers/Argentinians/Argentinian climbers to decide what to do next?

Is there anyone who might want to have a look at what klk referenced?

http://www128.pair.com/r3d4k7/MauerhakenstreitCompleteIllustrated.pdf
slobmonster

Trad climber
OAK (nee NH)
Jan 22, 2012 - 05:46pm PT
I don't have a dog in this fight, but it stirs some memories from the sludge.

If anyone is over-caffeinated and would like to explore a similar subject, consider for a moment a crappy overcrowded little 5.6 in New Hampshire: Thin Air.

http://www.neclimbs.com/SMF_2/index.php?topic=419.0

with the major proviso that there was an actual voted-upon, argued, and meetings-attended consensus reached regarding subject at hand... the same consensus that was ignored by youth(s).
The Larry

climber
Moab, UT
Jan 22, 2012 - 05:50pm PT
Just ask the Godfather.

The bird is the word.

'nuff said.
Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
Jan 22, 2012 - 05:53pm PT
> @ all who speak favorably of the hayden/kruk action: what is your thinking about the posted article?

1. It was interesting and worth reading.
2. I represented the opinions of 40 climbers who were active that season and in town.
3. At the time of the vote, the final difficulty of the "Fair Means" version was not known.
4. I wish the vote had gone the other way. :-)
5. Climbers tend to vote for the status quo, at least in terms of keeping things that have been around for awhile.
6. Sometimes (as climbers or otherwise) we choose to do things that are opposed by the majority, or even illegal.
Sometimes these decisions are good ones and even change opinions (and laws).
7. Whether or not the bolts will stay gone, more will be removed, or some will be restored is not really a direct result of the vote.
What will matter is how strongly climbers feel about it, and how willing they are to do something up there.
Kimbo

Sport climber
seattle
Jan 22, 2012 - 06:04pm PT
Especially when their climb was very moderate in difficulty nothing the average third year climber couldn't pull off.

i'd opine that the difficulty of the new climbing has no bearing on the issue....
Gene

climber
Jan 22, 2012 - 06:04pm PT
Credit: Sheridan Anderson
Bruce Kay

Gym climber
BC
Jan 22, 2012 - 06:05pm PT
The KKK. Kennedy Kruk Kontroversey


hahahahahahaha! Good one!

Having never been there I hardly feel qualified to comment.... but i'm inclined to think that in this particular case and on this particular outrageously unique mountain, this particular pointless bolt ladder has had its moment of glory - time to move on

edit: having said that, if there is ever a clear consensus otherwise, so be it.
marty(r)

climber
beneath the valley of ultravegans
Jan 22, 2012 - 06:06pm PT
A few more images for context. From Argentina's Vertical magazine.







And one of my own.



I get that we're not comparing apples and oranges here, but with all the concern that has been aired here in sunny California about quarter inch time bombs, doesn't the compressor itself represent a kind of icy sword of Damocles for someone down below? Should it remain? Were there ever efforts to remove it but not the bolts? Just wondering.

By the way, mikeylikesrocks has some pretty great images of the Torre and surrounding environs.
Mighty Hiker

climber
Vancouver, B.C.
Jan 22, 2012 - 06:11pm PT
Still waiting for hard - first hand, that is - facts as to what Jason and Hayden actually did. How many Maestri bolts were there? How many did they remove, and where? How many are left? (What about Bridwell's rivets at the top?) How many bolts or rivets are there in total on their route, what is its difficulty, and is there still a fixed rappel route of some sort? What conditions were the removed bolts in? Did anything get done with the compressor? Did they do anything to fill the old holes, or?

It seems likely that they removed a fair number of bolts, but beyond that we really don't know yet.
Bruce Kay

Gym climber
BC
Jan 22, 2012 - 06:18pm PT
Anders - don't be such a kill joy. Its way more fun to be a mental speculator

besides, we create our own reality
philo

Trad climber
Somewhere halfway over the rainbow
Jan 22, 2012 - 06:19pm PT
Especially when their climb was very moderate in difficulty nothing the average third year climber couldn't pull off.

Coz, I know you are upset but that statement is both outrageous and condescending.
If it were true the world would be filled with hero shots on the summit of Cerro Torre.
But some pretty hard crag rats have been bouted up there while average 3rd years are still looking for the colored tape.
bergbryce

Mountain climber
South Lake Tahoe, CA
Jan 22, 2012 - 06:20pm PT
I can remember when I was new to climbing and first reading about the Compressor Route and the history behind it. It sounded like a disaster then and based upon some of the pictures I've seen in this thread, I'm not that unhappy that it's gone. Whether it was these two climbers position to do what they did (and remember we still don't know exactly what's been done) is another matter and one that's going to be discussed for a very long time.

Time seems to have a way of over-riding the sting of poor decisions. Kind of like a statue of limitations of some sort. There seems to be a point where nostalgia overrules common sense and people begin to think things like their Ford Pinto was actually a decent car and not an engineering death trap.
WBraun

climber
Jan 22, 2012 - 06:22pm PT
Anders the typical armchair quarterback.

Mighty Hiker

climber
Vancouver, B.C.
Jan 22, 2012 - 06:23pm PT
Sorry, Werner - I'm acting just like a SAR person, trying to get more information. I wouldn't want to mentally speculate or anything. Hee hee.
Jim Brennan

Trad climber
Vancouver Canada
Jan 22, 2012 - 06:44pm PT
Maybe what's best is for the Argentine Government to impose rules similar to the American Wilderness Act concerning permanent anchors.

philo

Trad climber
Somewhere halfway over the rainbow
Jan 22, 2012 - 06:57pm PT
First the route is being reported by Rolo as 5.11+ A2 not 5.10.
Secondly we are talking about climbing in Patagonia not JT or the Valley or RMNP or even the Big Ditch.

I agree that at home crags in the lower 48 states 5.10 A2 isn't all that hard but on Cerro Torre it is.
If that grade was so easy wouldn't Steve Schnieder have been running laps on the 5.10 A1 Bolt Route already.
ionlyski

Trad climber
Kalispell, Montana
Jan 22, 2012 - 07:15pm PT
I respect Michael Kennedy too much to slam Hayden like I normally would, I have to admit.

Coz-after what you've said about Hayden you're lucky if he doesn't wrap his hand around your skinny little neck and squeeze. POP!

Arne
BlackSpider

Ice climber
Jan 22, 2012 - 08:22pm PT
If a small team made an alpine-style ascent of the north face of Jannu, then chopped all the bolts and fixed ropes left up there by the Russian big-wall team on the FA of the Odintsov Direct route, I wonder if there would be as much outrage and condemnation as there has been here. I suspect the answer is no.
Snorky

Trad climber
Carbondale, CO
Jan 22, 2012 - 08:23pm PT
Credit: Snorky
deuce4

climber
Hobart, Australia
Jan 22, 2012 - 08:35pm PT
dunno 'bout that, BlackSpider. I think that would be internationally considered as quite a despicable act and with no justification.

What's happened on Cerro Torre recently is the cumulation of a long process of dialog. It's not just a case of just random chopping of someone else's route due to style differences.

Talked to Paul Pritchard the other day. His eyes lit up, and he said, "I was planning to do that (chop the bolts) on Cerro Torre!" But he also inferred that the team that would be entitled to do the chopping should have had climbed the SE ridge without any of Maestri's bolts, and he was also surprised to hear that the belay bolts weren't considered in the "fair-means" equation.

If we're talking nationalism, I reckon a Brit would have had a greater claim to the deed, since it was a British team that really got usurped on Cerro Torre back in the early 70's (though Paul didn't see it as a nationalism kind of thing).

Personally, I would have preferred it left alone as the classic nose-in-a-day of Patagonia!
(But that's not a comment on what was done, that's just an opinion informed by a dream that someday I might get down there again).

Side story: I recall being incensed at Dan McDivett when he "cleaned" up dozens of fixed pitons on the Nose back in 1984 (we were all pretty poor in those days, I figured he was just trying to make a few bucks selling used pins in the parking lot). At the time, I was gunning for the first link up of Nose and Half Dome, and it really pissed me off--Tucker had to hold me back. But in the end, the "day" potential of the Nose wasn't affected, and I was definitely overreacting, though it did affect my psyche for the link-up. I suspect something similar is going on now with some folks.
BlackSpider

Ice climber
Jan 22, 2012 - 08:51pm PT
@Deuce: I guess I just see fixed gear (be it ropes, bolts, or whatever) as being closer to booty/crag swag or even just pure garbage than a lot of people do. If something was placed in a crack and abandoned, most people consider it fair game to pull out if you've got the inclination to do so. I'm not sure why a drilled hole should be any different.

Or what if, instead of pounding in pins, Maestri had drilled his way up and placed trenched batheads? Still off-limits for cleaning and/or replacing?
deuce4

climber
Hobart, Australia
Jan 22, 2012 - 08:59pm PT
sure, ropes and junk are fair game, but erasing routes is of course a different matter.

I posted a note about those bolts on a different thread, but I'm amazed at how those Cassin bolts were in such good shape after all these years. Maestri's work, though a botch job in terms of standards, is actually quite a work of art in terms of using the construction technology of the day. I don't really see the Compressor Route's style as much different to the style of those who bring motorised equipment to the mountains today--but perhaps that's where I would personally draw the line--otherwise you might as well extend the paradigm and just helicopter to the summit (or perhaps just past the blank pitches) and call it good. Thinking about it, what if we all had personal jet packs (the Apple iJetPack™)--wonder how that would affect the game we call climbing?
David Wilson

climber
CA
Jan 22, 2012 - 09:05pm PT
i agree john, the maestri bolts are somewhat of an art project; an odd period piece. pending other information, i think they should have been left in place...
mucci

Trad climber
The pitch of Bagalaar above you
Jan 22, 2012 - 09:11pm PT
Power drills are damn near standard on New VI VII routes these dayz...

So we have gone FULL CIRCLE.

If that makes any sense.

WTF? Those in the know are keeping it to themselves. NO NEW INFO OR CONFIRMATION OF "THE FACTS" stated above.
Bababata

Mountain climber
Utopia
Jan 22, 2012 - 09:22pm PT
I find some of the comments above quite hypocritical, especially considering these same people's comments on the Wings of Steel fiasco.

BTW, if some foreigner had come to the valley in 1970 and had put up a bolt ladder up the big stone, I'd imagine the route would not have survived more than a month... Robins started chopping a Harding route until he realized it couldn't have been put up in better style at the time. This is not the case with the Compressor route.

It's also admirable that people waited until a legit variation was accomplished before chopping the route. I think what transpired on CT is completely in line with established climbing ethics around the globe.

Seems like some people are upset for rather selfish reasons..
David Wilson

climber
CA
Jan 22, 2012 - 09:39pm PT
hmmmm....bolts do persist, witness tangerine trip on EC. as i recall there are at least two full pitches of rivets....and nobody has chopped them so far
spsmc

Mountain climber
Swall Meadows,CA
Jan 22, 2012 - 11:34pm PT
Quite the little debate and even before all of the facts are in. Seems like there is a division between those who have been on the route and those who have not and those who have been on it might favor having left it as it was.Yes, I have been there, but not to the top but I have to go with Coz, SS and Greg. Always wanted to go back.
In an article Rolo stated that you need a rack no larger than that for Nutcracker. True maybe, but the climbs are a galaxy apart. If you are not scared up there and praying for the weather to hold then you are not going to live much longer. The route has quality free climbing and ice as well. I cannot comprehend how it was in 1970. Maestri's first attempt was in the winter and he got beaten down and left, returning in summer. He put his time in for sure and I still hope against hope that his ascent with Egger might one day prove to be true.
Let's be clear, it seems that a free ascent is not being claimed, only an free/aid ascent using a small number of the original bolts but original bolts were used for the ascent and descent. Yes, Maestri went wild and put bolts in all over. But then pre-cleanup Zodiac had up to 15 at the Mark of Zorro belay and you might ask how they all got there. Galen Rowell once told me that Maestri had got the compressor and other equipment from European manufacturer Hilti who were interested in providing equipment for the projected Alaska pipeline. Never seen that corroborated anywhere so take it as you wish. But if true what is a sponsored climber going to do but use the stuff - nothing changes. Easy to criticize Maestri, but if you have been there you have to ask yourself about the work it took to get that thing up on the peak.
The non-controversial classy complete climb would be to climb it totally on their own gear and create their own anchors on the way down. Their ascent proves something and these guys did an outstanding job of that - no debate. But on the way down using the same bolts you profess to detest is hypocritical.
How would the route have been if only extraneous bolts were removed and the route cleaned up as has happened to many Yosemite routes?
How many people really comprehend the full history of this climb from the British attempts, through Bill Denz's little appreciated attempted solo in 1980 to 80m of the top and Pedrini's solo?
The history remains, but the route they did seems to be no more. It took over 40 years and the skills of modern climbers for a route bypassing most of the bolts to be found; but only a few hours to remove a lot of it.
Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Jan 23, 2012 - 12:43am PT
LARGO SAID: My point is that in the moment of actual doing, what you or I think about the Compresso route had nothing whatsoever to do with what the boys did up there. I have no doubt that many will try and MAKE it there businenss after the fact, but the fact has already marched past - should we like it or not is irrelevant, and is our issue, not theirs.

Yes.

True that what you nor I nor ANYONE else thought seems to have mattered very little to the "boys".

And there lies the problem:

The "boys" took it upon themselves to remove bolts from a climb that seemingly they didn't even do, and was immensely enjoyed by many others.

It seems that you pay homage to a world where "the able" make the rules, to hell with the others, let the "heroes" follow their passions! (5.11 A2?!?)


Pay homage? Where did you get that? I repeatedly have said, "for better or for worse," that right or wrong was not my issue here.

My point is that "they took it upon themselves," to use your phrase. This is the "direct action" I spoke about and to which the vanguard had always practiced." All the yammering and judgments after the fact are perhaps important in a general, policy-defining kind of way, but the vangard is not expected to define their intentions through other's opinions, which are none of their business. That's just the way they roll, and we're powerless over that.

Another thing is that the vaugard, if authentic, always pushes the bar up - not sideways or down. Talk about chopping Nose being remotely the same as what happened on the Cerro T. is strictly absurd. Nowhere on the Nose was there anything remotely like the profligate show of bolts as seen on those pics, where a dozen or more festoon from the rock right next to cracks. If this was seen on El Cap today it would uniformly be written off as the work or hacks or madmen.

I think a lot of the guff we see here is sour grapes that leading edge folks are making policy decisions for all mankind. Well, they did. And will continue to do so. It's an evolutionary thing.

That said, I don't condone removing the bolts on the Torre, but I wonder if a lot of people are bent because without the machine-gun-bolted nature of the compressor route, the majority of us would never have a shot as such a mountain.


JL
shipoopoi

Big Wall climber
oakland
Jan 23, 2012 - 12:48am PT
darn those forty niners!

well, i lot of great thought on this issue, really amazing how every issue has been presented by both sides and by so many people. although i remain bummed that the route has been choppy chop chopped, i don't slag anybody for thinking the other way. it is a grandiose peak, one of the world's greatest treasures, and if people feel the mountain is better without these bolts, i really don't even want to change their/your opinion. i understand that everybody here seems to appreciate how special this peak is, and that people are talking from the heart. i'm not going to lose any friends over this, at least not on my part, it's way not worth it.

at the same time, i would again like to explain why i might have been just a bit tweaked on my first post or two here. i have been down to try the compressor route on four separate expeditions, costing me thousands, if not tens of thousands of dollars, and 8 or 9 months of my life(i could have been in thailand with my wife). injuries, sickness, bad weather, and bad partners all have contributed to my failures. the last time on the peak, just below the banana cracks, my partner refused to continue because he was tired, even though i was leading every pitch in the dark. the weather was perfect. total heartbreak as i watched a german team pass us on our retreat and cruise to the summit. these times and attempts and failures on the compressor route are among my greatest memories, even though i never even got to the mythical bolt ladders of maestri, i longed to see them for myself. so, all of a sudden, bam...i am robbed of my chance to have another go on the compressor.

so, it should be understandable that i might be upset enough to squeeze my panties into a g-string. i not even saying here that i had a right to climb the compressor route, just that i have the right to be upset about it being chopped because of all i've been through on this climb.

people have argued i can always go do another climb on the torre, but i don't want that choice made for me. one thing i have found out is that it is not cool to tell other people what to climb, so i don't need anybody telling me to go do the ferrari route(west face). i wanted to do the compressor route. i've been shut down, just like the fortyniners today. ciao amigos, steve schneider


deuce4

climber
Hobart, Australia
Jan 23, 2012 - 02:01am PT
More pondering and speculation from the peanut gallery:

To all the future "fair-means" chopping teams: perhaps y'all could leave the 90 meter traverse bolts as a historical variation. Unlike the headwall, those bolts wouldn't be in the way, as the original British line and its fair means continuation completely bypasses them. Other than that, carry on with your ethical cleanup if you so wish.

Maestri knew it was possible to go directly up the ridge. But he inexplicably chose to drill across a blank wall, and many people have speculated as to why. I reckon the weather had kicked in, and that he went that way to stay out of the wind, as the ridge is much more exposed. Perhaps that variant can remain as both as a historical novelty, and as a way some parties might attempt to gain just a little more ground if they get up to pitch 10 and the wind really starts kicking in; if the typical Patagonia wind doesn't abate, they're not going to have much luck on the upper part of the route anyway (with or without bolts).

Of course, if luck prevailed, then all successful parties would have to 'fess up as to which variant they took (with of course fewer kudos to the 90m trav