Cerro Torre, A Mountain Consecrated - The Resurrection of th


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Fish Boy

Trad climber
Jan 25, 2012 - 03:31am PT
I think Perry's layback isn't a testament to anything, it's just climbing over clipping.....

Galgenen, Switzerland
Jan 25, 2012 - 04:27am PT
From what I read about ethics and history I can see that there is not so much awareness of the style evolution in the Alps and especially in Dolomites. It's something I've written in the UK forum but I'll repeat it here.

Point one. The apex of Cesare Maestri's activity was in the fifties an sixties in the Dolomites. After most of the natural lines were climbed, in the fifties a new climbing paradigm started to take place. The best route should be a straight line from the bottom to the top of the mountain. These routes were called Direttissima or Superdirettissima and were characterized by bolt ladders placed in smooth or super-overhanging routes. Climbers were exploring a new style, which was starting to decay in late sixties. Who contributed to the decadence of this style was the Reinhold Messner's manifesto "The murder of the impossible" published in 1965 but translated in english in 1971 (so I wonder how Leo Dickinson could have read it in '68/'69). Nevertheless, Maestri, who was an extraordinary rock climber, utilized also this style as a son his time. Often, the number of bolts or the number of nights spent in the mountain were a measure of the challenging character of the route.
This style was explored especially in Dolomites, where natural lines were extremely few, but the use of the bolt was criticized elsewhere (for example by Bonatti et al in the Western Alps), where there were still plenty of routes protectable without bolts.

So, this is the historical context when Maestri lived. We may argue that the Compressor route was unacceptable, but I believe that at posteriori is too easy to express this criticism. The Compressor route was condemned by british, americans and some italians, but to label Maestri's bolts as insane, when his ethical heritage was characterized by the presence of bolt ladders is, in my opinion, unfair and partly due to ignorance. Didn't Harding place a lot of bolts and a couple of bolt Ladders on El Cap (which someone compared to CT as a Valley crag) in 1958? Should we be more tolerant if somebody did it with more bolts almost ten years later in and extreme, larger and wilder wall like Cerro Torre? It may be argued that he used the compressor, and here we come to point two.

Point two. Maestri was extremely angry after climbers started to doubt about his '59 ascent, where he lost a friend and he almost died. He wanted to prove to the world that nothing is impossible and to show that he wanted to use all means he knew. And by "all means" it must be included the "bolt ladders" ethic experienced in Dolomite. But he knew that to witness again an extraordinary weather condition like in 1959, was extremely improbable. He knew that he was not a good ice climber like Egger. He knew that granite is extremely hard to place bolts. He knew how terrific is Cerro Torre and, furhermore, the company Atlas Copco was enthusiastic to sponsor his expedition if they used their compressor. It was an early example of sponsorship and marketing. All these reasons convinced him to force a new route on a virgin line. We may like it. We may dislike it. But people sometime are extravagant and this happened more than 40 years ago. I'm not surprised of Leo Dickinson's words about Maestri's route. Although the comparison is not appropriate, I don't think Robbins had soft opinions about Harding. When people have different views, it's easy they see everything concerning a rival in a negative perspective.

Point three. I don't know if Garibotti or Maestri were wrong in their statements. I myself barely remember what I put in my new short routes. So, we cannot pretend that human memory is an exact science after someone experiences traumatic and fatal events, like it happened to Maestri. When I read in Garibotti's document "this description is too vague to be valuated seriously, and yet it is a good example of the lack of detail given by Maestri" I just laugh and I start to believe that Garibotti is acting in bad faith.

Point four. Motivations are important. Because they become a paradigm and a platform for others to act in future. And I'm not happy that two chaps decide to chop a controversial - but in my opinion historical - route, just because they decided it in the summit. I strongly believe that the Compressor route's destiny deserves a better and a broader agreement.

Point Five. Rolando Garibotti is an excellent and incredible climber. There's not doubt about it. His Towers traverse was a very impressive achievement for me. But I like to see human beings in a larger picture and perspective. Maybe I'm wrong, but my idea of his arrogant attitude grew stronger and stronger with time. First for his despectful and unfair campaign against Maestri (who now is an over 80 man, who fought for his life against cancer), then with his historical revisionism, then with his obsessive and pedantic ethic where if you show a picture in a storm where the summit is barely visible, this is not a proof of the ascent. Etcetera etcetera. Is this real alpinism? Do climbers need a notarial deed or a youtube video to show they did something? This is what I really consider insane, and not Maestri's bolts!!!

Alright ...
I have to work now ... I guess you guys are sleeping now ... bye ...

Trad climber
Jan 25, 2012 - 07:23am PT
it could be wrong, it could be right: now Cerro Torre is a challenging mountain again, people will not be able to use the Via Ferrata any more. The compressor is still there, and I would place new bolts to be sure it stays there for the future in memory of Maestri and his job.

Trad climber
Jan 25, 2012 - 07:42am PT
Stambecco I remember you: there are already the new bolts, 4 by Salvaterra and 1 by Kruk

Only in the variant... but in the same SE ridge


Trad climber
Jan 25, 2012 - 08:20am PT
I meant new bolts for the compressor, not for the route!

Trad climber
Jan 25, 2012 - 08:34am PT
tell me, you don't want the bolts of the compressor route but you accept the bolt of 40 years after nearby?


Trad climber
Portland, Oregon
Jan 25, 2012 - 08:47am PT
enzolino: ...

Short of Werner's insanity defense, that would be as good a five point apology as any, if it weren't for the bolts themselves giving testimony to the whole sorry spectacle.

Trad climber
Jan 25, 2012 - 08:49am PT
that is something different (and maybe I agree with you), but I did not say anything else but what I said.

and there are 5 new bolts, not a via ferrata. I'm not saying that rolo is a nice guy or that what he says is the holy bible, or salvaterra or whoever. I say I'm happy about what the k&k did. That's all.
New Age II

Jan 25, 2012 - 08:55am PT
K & K are two losers. They have not released the route of the compressor, so they have no right to unrivet.

Milan, Italy
Jan 25, 2012 - 09:36am PT
@Bruce Kay

Foraidaball, You didn't answer my question. What is your stance on Halibut?

he can't: he says he's ben banned from SuperTopo...

Trad climber
Carbondale, CO
Jan 25, 2012 - 10:06am PT
Member profile information for fòradaiball is shown below. This member's account has been deactivated.

Confirmed. Thank you holy admin!

All that barking and gasping made it extremely difficult to hear what anyone was saying. Dude pretty much singlehandedly broke this discussion.

Less attack dog, more Leo Dickenson please. Sucks that one must wade through so much waste to find a few diamonds among the posts. Dickenson's in particular is one that should be in the ST hall of fame.
New Age II

Jan 25, 2012 - 10:15am PT
Leo Dickinson was unable to make even the compressor route .... "Via Ferrata"
The cad

Does it matter, really?!?
Jan 25, 2012 - 10:23am PT
Less attack dog, more Leo Dickenson please. Sucks that one must wade through so much waste to find a few diamonds among the posts. Dickenson's in particular is one that should be in the ST hall of fame.
If Leo Dickinson is so important to you, then at least try to type his name correctly :)
Chris McNamara

SuperTopo staff member
Jan 25, 2012 - 10:50am PT
Since this thread now has 875+ posts (and not everyone may want to read all of them), I thought I would point out what I think is one of the most important posts in the thread (that some people might have missed) by Leo Dickinson http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.php?topic_id=1725375&tn=720

It's awesome to have someone who was there at the time of the Cerro Torre FA's posting on the forum!

Topic Author's Reply - Jan 25, 2012 - 10:59am PT
in case it has not been posted already:

From Claude Gardien, the editor of Vertical Magazine in France
original link here


SE Ridge of Cerro Torre : Compressor Route « by fair means »

Cerro TorreThe « fair means » ascent of Cerro Torre’s SE ridge by Hayden Kennedy and Jason Kruk put an end to a quest that has lasted for many years. The world of alpinism has long understood that it was possible to climb this ridge without using the bolts that Cesare Maestri and his team had placed in 1970. We still don’t know much about what difficulty the rope team had to overcome on this ascent - most likely 5.11+/A2, using 5 bolts in the process – but the impact of their success doesn’t lie with the technical level achieved.

This ascent opens a whole new page on the Cerro Torre history. In 1970, Cesare Maestri, in response to those who challenged his 1959 ascent, decided to prove his good faith by doing another first ascent on this mountain, considered one of the most beautiful in the world. His « success » could now be questioned by all, since he was able to climb the ridge (without touching the summit, « ephemeral » mushroom, according to him) placing a huge number of bolts along the way with an enormous compressor that he eventually abandoned on the wall. The amount of gear he used and moreover, the way he used it were equally shocking: amongst other things, bolts were placed alongside perfect cracks that could have taken natural gear.

The history of the Cerro Torre had started badly: Maestri had claimed its first ascent, without his team mate Toni Egger to back his story, since he had disappeared on the mountain. But Maestri didn’t manage to convince many people of his success and any remaining doubts were laid to rest with the successful ascent of this “route” by Alessandro Beltrami, Rolando Garibotti and Ermanno Salvaterra in 2006. The whole story now shines as just a big waste – for the sport, the ethic, the environment and humanity.

Let’s imagine for a second that Maestri hadn’t bolted the ridge. The first ascent would have been done in 2012. The 1970 ascent has obliterated part of the future of alpinism. It took away from the opportunity for future generations of alpinists to try a clean, virgin line, devoid of any industrial waste.

The Cerro Torre case is no doubt unique, but other faces were climbed too soon, with the wrong means. Of course, they remain to be climbed by fair means. But they regrettably lost part of their virginity that made them so fascinating. They often remain littered with gear left in place. They were climbed without real desire, without respect, with the only goal being to satisfy an ambition.

If the Cerro Torre exemple could temper the enthusiasm of alpinists in a rush to come to terms with a mountain that is too hard for them, this sad story will at least have served this purpose.

The cad

Does it matter, really?!?
Jan 25, 2012 - 11:02am PT
Here is a today's letter from Mariana Fava, Cesarino Fava's daughter.
(in Spanish)

El Chaltén, 25 de febrero 2012

En respuesta a la entrevista realizada a los 4 escaladores [Rolando Garibotti, Colin Haley, Jason Kruk, Hayden Kennedy] en La Cachaña:
Un acto de esta calaña no tiene defensa alguna, además creo que usaron argumentos absolutamente absurdos y sin fundamento alguno para justificarse.
NO ES EN ARGENTINA donde se piden visas, tarjeta verde, pasaporte de la comunidad, carta de invitación de algún familiar, tarjeta de crédito o efectivo, contrato de trabajo o permisos para poder entrar, eso pasa en países como Australia, Canadá, Estados Unidos, España, "donde probablemente te reciban bien", eso sí, una vez que logres entrar.
Además me parece que dos personas como ustedes, que desde que llegaron a este pueblo fueron bien recibidos, donde muchos de los jóvenes los toman como referentes del alpinismo, no hacía falta la agresión gratuita a toda la comunidad de El Chaltén diciendo que no tiene derecho a opinar porque "no pisa la montaña", suele pasar que esa gente cultiva mucho respeto por la montaña, incluso desde el pueblo; o que la reacción en defensa del acto cometido "los sorprende" o "roza la discriminación" (DISCRIMINAR: Separar, distinguir, diferenciar. Dar trato de inferioridad a una persona o colectividad por motivos raciales, políticos, religiosos, etc.).
Además de sorprenderme que hayan caído en la escualidez de defenderse de un acto de vandalismo (VANDALISMO: inclinación a destruir y devastar sin consideración y respeto a los demás) como el realizado sobre la vía del compresor usando la victimización, esto me deja una certeza: son prepotentes y mal educados. No sirve de nada que anden por el pueblo con sonrisas satisfechas, como si hubiesen salvado una vida. Deberían sentir vergüenza.
Además me pregunto:
Que pasaría si alguien pintara con aerosol el cuadro de la Gioconda porque no le gusta su sonrisa?
Que pasaría si un turista llegara a Chaltén viera algo que no le gusta y simplemente lo elimina?
Que pasaría si un argentino sacara clavos puestos hace más de 40 años de una pared en USA????????
Me parece que sería mejor predicar ejemplos de respeto a los nuevos escaladores, en lugar de darles ejemplos de prepotencia e incoherencia.
Vivir coherentemente significa actuar como se habla, hablar como se piensa y pensar con sentido común y con el corazón si queremos ponernos románticos, créanme que vale la pena.
Quiero decir que es inútil sacar clavos con una mano y con la otra tirar garrafas de gas desde la cumbre.
Deberían dejar las utopías de lado, porque aunque crean que "las montañas son de todos", lamento comunicarles que éstas SON BIEN ARGENTINAS.
No se equivoquen que ser bien recibidos no es lo mismo que ser considerados locales.
Y, por último, antes de hablar de humildad habría que practicarla.

Sin saludos cordiales,
Mariana Fava.
New Age II

Jan 25, 2012 - 11:08am PT
@ ROLO ...
Listen to the words of David Lama?

Ice climber
Jan 25, 2012 - 11:13am PT
Many thanks to Leo for giving an objective recount in the midst of the heated debate.

Jan 25, 2012 - 11:15am PT
Right or wrong, this thread makes for great reading...I can't decide what was more entertaining-- Leo Dickensons fantastic contribution to the debate, or the Italian guys being asked if they had caught any trout lately...

Galgenen, Switzerland
Jan 25, 2012 - 11:36am PT
Let’s imagine for a second that Maestri hadn’t bolted the ridge. The first ascent would have been done in 2012. The 1970 ascent has obliterated part of the future of alpinism. It took away from the opportunity for future generations of alpinists to try a clean, virgin line, devoid of any industrial waste.
Claude Garden is a Genius ...
I wonder how many climbs we have to cancel from the past, because new generations will be able to do better ...
Congratulation Rolo ... very "smart" article ...
Messages 641 - 660 of total 1703 in this topic << First  |  < Previous  |  Show All  |  Next >  |  Last >>
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