Cerro Torre, A Mountain Consecrated - The Resurrection of th


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Trad climber
Portland, Oregon
Jan 25, 2012 - 02:06am PT
Werner: Healy Sometimes you're just cold stone.

Maestri's epics on the Torre represents a mad passion, an insanity, an intense romantic affair, it's a huge part of "LIFE" played out on the grand scale, that's bigger than him, that's not stale, bland, and boiled down to just mere hardware.

Most guys just go get drunk, get laid and call it good when so suffering - not contact Atlas-Copco and arrange to airlift a gas station to the end of the earth in order to drill a thousand bolts.

[ Ok, ok - truth be told - I did call Sears about a compressor in '76 while planning a go at Asgard, but in the end I couldn't afford the extra dogs it would have taken... ]
Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
Jan 25, 2012 - 02:09am PT
Kimbo wrote:
hmmm not sure you or anybody is in a position to know exactly what maestri's motivations were.

I strongly agree that motivations are difficult to assess,
so we should not trust our judgment of them.
It takes very strong evidence to prove a motivation,
such as a direct statement from the person.

I haven't read Maestri's books or interviews,
so I don't know what he may have stated.
While I don't like what he did,
and it sounds like he was not a very nice guy,
and he has that tragic history with the mountain,
I am not going to make a big guess on his exact motivations.

The same applies to other judgements people have made in this thread,
such as the motivations of Kruk and Kennedy.
(Somebody thought the chopping was a statement about how they were better
climbers than Maestri, for example.
I don't see much proof for that, and I think there are better explanations).
Or the motivations of Garibotti
(Somebody said he is motivated by a big ego.
He is definitely researching history.
I don't see how a big ego is required.).

The actions of a person are what matters;
their motivation is of second order,
unless they are still active and you want to predict what they will do next.

Ditto for internet discussions - what the person said is first,
why they said it is second order and you could easily be wrong trying to guess it.

Trad climber
East Wenatchee, WA
Jan 25, 2012 - 02:21am PT

Google Translate....cool....

Trad climber
Somewhere halfway over the rainbow
Jan 25, 2012 - 02:33am PT
First off, Rolo is not a man of aggressive ego. He is a quiet and humble man of high intellect, who is also one of the finest alpinists in the world today.
Secondly, according to friends who spent time with K&K, Hayden is extremely well versed on the history and significance of Patagonian climbing.

Trad climber
Somewhere halfway over the rainbow
Jan 25, 2012 - 02:46am PT
photo not found
Missing photo ID#234775

More bolts, need more bolts.
And cow bell.
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?

Bruce Kay

Gym climber
Jan 25, 2012 - 08:45am PT
Foraidaball, You didn't answer my question. What is your stance on Halibut?

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.
Dingus Milktoast

Gym climber
And every fool knows, a dog needs a home, and...
Jan 25, 2012 - 09:17am PT
Maestri's epics on the Torre represents a mad passion, an insanity, an intense romantic affair, it's a huge part of "LIFE"
played out on the grand scale, that's bigger than him, that's not stale, bland, and boiled down to just mere hardware.

Right or wrong in the eyes of us mere mortals we miss this so many times .....

Thanks Werner.


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 f˛radaiball 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 user formerly known as stzzo

Sneaking up behind you
Jan 25, 2012 - 10:21am PT
Yes please ... save these Italian morons from further self humiliation, stop responding to them. the opportunity for great discussion has long since past and been wasted

tipica frase di chi non ha pi¨ argomenti per far valere le sue ragioni, o che non ha pi¨ scuse per difendere i propri sbagli

For the record, I did not make the above quoted statement. That was bmacd.
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