Cerro Torre- the lie and the desecration


Discussion Topic

Return to Forum List
Post a Reply
Messages 41 - 60 of total 244 in this topic << First  |  < Previous  |  Show All  |  Next >  |  Last >>

Sport climber
Venice, Ca
Apr 3, 2009 - 07:31pm PT
I think Ferreri did the right thing and instead of futzing around in the confusion of who did what, he just went down there and climbed the thing. From what I understand, Maestri's bolt ladder route is by far the most popular route up the mountain and is really something of a classic.

Wish I would have climbed that thing . . .

Peter Haan

Trad climber
San Francisco, CA
Apr 3, 2009 - 07:58pm PT


Apr 3, 2009 - 08:00pm PT
And now they climb it in 9 hours.

Apr 3, 2009 - 08:18pm PT
Toker Villain

Big Wall climber
Toquerville, Utah
Apr 3, 2009 - 08:24pm PT

They oughta just call it the Roman Tower.

Trad climber
Santa Rosa, CA
Apr 3, 2009 - 08:56pm PT
Largo wrote: ""When I interviewed Jim Bridwell for Mountain Magazine about 25 years ago, it was right after Jim made the supposed 2nd ascent of the "Compressor Route" on Cerro Torre. The first ascent was attributed to Casare Maestri, circa 1970, via his now infamous compressor debacle. I am not entirely certain (perhaps some other reader is), but as I remember it, Maestri did not climb the final ice mushroom, which rests on top of the rock "summit." I believe Casare claimed that since the ice mushroom was not part of the rock, it didn't represent a legitimate summit - or some such thing.""

I read that article 20 some years ago... and I have the worse memory going, so don't trust me... but I remember it as Maestri said he did the Mushroom in '59. But, then when he was criticized for not doing it when he did the Compressor route he said he'd "never been on the Mushroom." The author was pretty easy on Maestri if I remember right... but noted this slip up. But, then gave him an out by saying that oftentimes those guys would not do some boulder type thing on the top. I don't know, I read it a long time ago. lol
Double D

Apr 3, 2009 - 09:43pm PT
"if I remember rightly, Maestri said something about chopping some of the bolts at the top of the ladder"

I remember Jim telling his version of why he didn't think the route had been completed by Maestri but I don't remember him saying anything about a chopped bolt ladder. Maybe it was over-shadowed by his tale of falling 150í on a bowline-on-a-coil and cracking his ribs.

Any more sheep rustling stories over the years?



Los Angeles
Apr 3, 2009 - 09:55pm PT
Thanks for posting.

Apr 3, 2009 - 11:03pm PT
TwistedCrank, thanks for posting the link to Bridwell's AAJ article. I had not read it. That is awesome, literally, as in inspiring awe.

When Bridwell writes of the blank stretch of rock after the last bolt, "My God, I thought, Maestri must have nailed 80 feet of ice tenuously bound to smooth rock. It was a bad joke and inconsistent with the magazine articles," I think you can tell what his opinion was.

It is sort of spooky to see the picture looking down on the compressor drill bolted to the mountain. I found a picture that shows it still there in 2005. I suppose it will be there until rust and falling objects sweep it away someday.
Eric McAuliffe

Trad climber
Alpine County, CA
Apr 3, 2009 - 11:56pm PT
largo rote -at that point where Jim had to bust out his Yosemite wall tackle and throw down some legitimate Valley A3 to surmount the last part of the face of Cerro Torre.

i think that was superbadass

'Pass the Pitons' Pete

Big Wall climber
like Ontario, Canada, eh?
Apr 4, 2009 - 07:54am PT
Note that Jim's partners bailed on him after arriving there, their bollocks shrivelling in terror. Funny how that happens sometimes, eh? What a gripping tale as Jim and Steve race the oncoming storm towards the summit!

Best quotes from Bridwell's article:

"Nevertheless, I like to think that if youíre not scared, youíre not having fun; and, if thatís true, the Cerro Torre is worth a couple of years at Disneyland."

"I realized that we were higher on the Cerro Torre than anyone else had ever been in a single day. I knew that what Steve and I had just done was but a premonition of how fast and well the younger climbers will do the difficult technical routes in the future. We had probably climbed the fastest and farthest ever accomplished on any mountain of that

Great stuff!

Apr 4, 2009 - 08:36am PT
Jim, Jim when will you ever learn. The term "variation" died out a long time ago. Even Tackle's website calls the Viper Ridge a new route. No wonder you have never had a full-time modern sponsorship. Don't you know that mountain hardware now makes titatium bed pans? Plan for the future and start working on your spray.
You have to learn how to talk like a modern climber to get the top line swag, and claim full success always. Repeat after me, On the viper ridge "I reached my summit" or, "All the technical difficulties were over", or better yet simply, "It was a modern ascent."

All jesting aside, what has ever happened to the word variation or attempt, or failure? Everyone wants koo doos for trying these days.
There is even a new route on Kichatna spire that doesn't go anywhere near the top.

Masetri is no different than the likes that we "worship" and "sponsor" today, just an earlier variation.
Michael Kennedy

Social climber
Carbondale, Colorado
Apr 4, 2009 - 08:51am PT
Don't get the old farts going on this one!
'Pass the Pitons' Pete

Big Wall climber
like Ontario, Canada, eh?
Apr 4, 2009 - 09:12am PT
"[Jim,] don't you know that Mountain Hardware now makes titatium bed pans?"


Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
Topic Author's Reply - Apr 4, 2009 - 09:38am PT
Pete, I'm getting an enema right after I finish dialysis.

Sport climber
Boulder, Colorado!
Apr 4, 2009 - 10:00am PT
Cool stuff - thanks!
Toker Villain

Big Wall climber
Toquerville, Utah
Apr 4, 2009 - 10:17am PT
I think I need one of those. Where can I get it?
(My bedpan is too heavy.)
tom woods

Gym climber
Bishop, CA
Apr 4, 2009 - 10:23am PT
Good read by James D. Bridwell.
John Mac

Trad climber
Littleton, CO
Apr 4, 2009 - 10:56am PT
Jim, thanks for sharing your thoughts about this. I'm looking for all those articles you are going to write for Alpinist coming up.... Your passion and need to know the truth jump off the page. Its really great to see you posting up here.

I've never climbed Cerro Torre but I've always been fascinated by it. I'm a history bluff and have all the old mountain magazines back home in NZ. To the best of my knowledge I've never seem anything that looked like a summit shot, or shoulder shot. Most of the photos are descriptive, shots from the glacier, etc....

My understanding is that either of three things happened:

1. There was a lot of ice that year and they were to climb the ice sheet to the shoulder. Doubtful considering the date of the ascent and ice climbing techology, protection at the time?

2. They bolted the last stretch to the ice and then stood on the shoulder and then erased their bolts. Doubtful as well, since Jim bridwell never mention this. If anyone come spot a line he would have.

3. They didn't get any higher than the compressor. Don't know? Maybe the real story. As people get closer to their nature death often the truth is told, but i expect in this case the people know will hold on to their version of what happened.

Once we took everything about things like this as gospel and it wasn't questioned, but with a mountain such as CT, it is such an iconic summit then we all need to know the truth. Where is the photographic evidence. What about the memories of the other climbers...

I can't believe that Jim Bridwell missed a line of erased bolts, (smashed in)? At the time of the ascent there was no one better in the world with his big wall skill set.

Anyhow, another snowy day in Denver so i'm surfing rather than out having fun...

Thanks to everyone who makes this site such at neat place to hang out.
Toker Villain

Big Wall climber
Toquerville, Utah
Apr 4, 2009 - 11:00am PT
My understanding from people who've done the route is that many bolts are short 5mm wedge ended "piton type" that tend to loosen on their own.

In some cases people have pulled them out by hand and then hammered them back in with some matchbook cover or extraneous material to make a tighter fit,..
Messages 41 - 60 of total 244 in this topic << First  |  < Previous  |  Show All  |  Next >  |  Last >>
Return to Forum List
Post a Reply
Our Guidebooks
Check 'em out!
SuperTopo Guidebooks

Try a free sample topo!

SuperTopo on the Web

Review Categories
Recent Trip Report and Articles
Recent Route Beta
Recent Gear Reviews