/ NEWS: NEWSFLASH: David Lama Frees The Compressor Route

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UKC News - on 23 Jan 2012
Cerro Torre / David Lama, 4 kbThe Cerro Torre saga continues:

News is now spreading that Austrian climber David Lama has grabbed the first ever free ascent of the line...

Read more at http://www.ukclimbing.com/news/item.php?id=66230

Ricky Martin - on 23 Jan 2012
In reply to UKC News: This was even more impressive as I managed to read it as "Dalai Lama Frees The Compressor Route" think I need more coffee.
In reply to Ricky Martin: Ha!

Now that would be awesome! And quite possible that if I hadn't had my coffee I may mistype it like that!

Anyway - amazing story this current Cerro Torre saga.

Mountaineering history unfolding right now.

Jack
puppythedog on 23 Jan 2012
In reply to Jack Geldard - UKC Chief Editor: I look forward to more details Jack. Do we know if David and Dalai decided to swing leads or whether David just seconded? I would not be surprised having seen an episode of Australian masterchef which had the Dalai Lama as a guest judge.
Al Onsight - on 23 Jan 2012
In reply to UKC News: Being out injured I'm spending an inordinate amount of time reading up on stuff and speculating online. But this Dave Lama thing got me thinking...if the route has now been climbed bolt free should he not have left the first free ascent to someone with the balls to try and project it on just the gear?If difficulties are 'only' 8a then there are a number of wads who've proved they're capable of climbing at this standard on big routes using gear. Dave Macleod on the Longhope route for example, or those continental hippies on Mt. Asgard. In the same way as those guys last week won't be as well remembered as maestri, whoever steps up to the ultimate ethical ascent will probably now be a footnote to that spoiled brat Lama.

Al
snoop6060 - on 23 Jan 2012
In reply to Al Onsight:

Presumably he did climb it without the bolts since they have been chopped.
beardy mike - on 23 Jan 2012
In reply to puppythedog: I would have thought the Dalai would take the majority of the really hard pitches what with his levitational skills - david is obviously riding this one out for publicity ;)
Ramblin dave - on 23 Jan 2012
In reply to Al Onsight:

Meh.

FWIW, Dave Mac uses a lot of toprope practice on stuff so I'm not sure that his ascents are ethically purer than having climbed the route before on bolts before they were chopped.

As far as I'm concerned David Lama's got a way to go before he earns back the respect that he lost with the previous fiasco, but this is still a bloody impressive bit of climbing.

In any case, Jack's right - you couldn't write this stuff!
Robert Durran - on 23 Jan 2012
In reply to Ramblin dave:
> As far as I'm concerned David Lama's got a way to go before he earns back the respect that he lost with the previous fiasco.

If he really has climbed it boltless and free without an attendant circus, it's hard to see what more he could possibly do to regain respect!
Fergal - on 23 Jan 2012
In reply to UKC News:

I find this quite disapointing, firstly Lama has freed Maestri's line, in away giving it some credence, i don't believe the upper section follows a natural line of weakness, at 8a it will very rarely be in climable condition. Secondly he achieves big publicity for his corporate sponsors.

The line freed with one pendulum is the route that will endure in imho, maestri's travesty of a line should be forgotten forever.
Skyfall - on 23 Jan 2012
In reply to UKC News:

I'm liking that photo of Lama looking ever so like Wayne - party on dude.

http://kaihorotimes.blogspot.com/2011/05/happy-birthday-wayne-campbell.html
JLS on 23 Jan 2012
In reply to Ramblin dave:

>"David Lama's got a way to go before he earns back the respect that he lost with the previous fiasco"

As long as he's picked-up all his (metaphorical) empty Red Bull cans from the base of the climb then then I'm inclined to start again with a clean sheet.
Skyfall - on 23 Jan 2012
In reply to Robert Durran:

> If he really has climbed it boltless and free without an attendant circus, it's hard to see what more he could possibly do to regain respect!

I'm not sure that returning to the scene of the crime was really the way to earn respect. Maybe do something worthwhile and less obviously to redeem both himself and his sponsor?
Michael Ryan - on 23 Jan 2012
In reply to UKC News:

Congratulations to David Lama, and Hayden Kennedy and Jason Kruk.

Fantastic achievements and a beautiful climbing saga continues.

Let's hope that access in the area isn't threatened. That would be a tragedy.

"For the record: the actions of 24-year old Kruk from Canada and 21-year-old Kennedy from the USA were strongly contested by a group of alpinists at El Chalten and, what is more, they were questioned by the PolicŪa Provincial who seem to have confiscated the pressure bolts (a hundred or so) removed from the route which Maestri established in 1970 up the SE Face of Cerro Torre."
Ramblin dave - on 23 Jan 2012
In reply to Robert Durran:

I don't want to get too arsey about it, but I guess that for the moment I still think of him as the guy who was involved in the Red Bull fiasco. If he continues to do impressive and ethically sound stuff like this (which hopefully he will) then at some point it'll start to look more like a one-off lapse in judgement and he can be remembered for the better stuff he's done since.
Michael Ryan - on 23 Jan 2012
In reply to Mick Ryan - Senior Editor - UKC:

Further Greg Crouch said last week

"Iíve known for years Rolo has had it out for that route, since well before he published his American Alpine Journal article that so convincingly exposed Maestriís 1959 first ascent story as a complete hoax, but I confess to having mixed feelings about the chopping. Iím 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, itís the end of an incredible story"

Clearly not!

a lakeland climber on 23 Jan 2012
In reply to Mick Ryan - Senior Editor - UKC:

> "For the record: the actions of 24-year old Kruk from Canada and 21-year-old Kennedy from the USA were strongly contested by a group of alpinists at El Chalten and, what is more, they were questioned by the PolicŪa Provincial who seem to have confiscated the pressure bolts (a hundred or so) removed from the route which Maestri established in 1970 up the SE Face of Cerro Torre."

Vested interests?

So they've removed 100 or so out of the 350 (possibly 450) that Maestri put in? Hardly a complete stripping, though of course some may well have been removed prior to this ascent.

ALC

Nemo - on 23 Jan 2012
In Reply To Conquistador of the usless

Might be wrong on this - the details seem far from clear at the moment. But I think Kennedy and Kruk will have used much more aid than just the pendulum. Don't think they were even trying to free climb it. Think it's a misunderstanding of Rolo's post on supertopo. Sure it will all be cleared up in time.

Jonny2vests - on 23 Jan 2012
In reply to JonC:
> (In reply to UKC News)
>
> I'm liking that photo of Lama looking ever so like Wayne - party on dude.
>
> http://kaihorotimes.blogspot.com/2011/05/happy-birthday-wayne-campbell.html

Excellent.
In reply to Mick Ryan - Senior Editor - UKC: Alpinist is saying the police arrested Kruk and Kennedy after a group of climber set out to lynch them?!? Does any one know whiskey tango foxtrot is going on?
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a lakeland climber on 23 Jan 2012
In reply to Nemo:

Here's a genuine question - what state are Maestri's bolts in anyway? They've been there on one the most weather beaten bits of rock on the planet for forty years. Given that Kennedy and Kruk removed over 100 of them in what can only have been a few hours then it looks like a good proportion of them wouldn't have been around for much longer. What would the detractors do then? Replace them, therefore perpetuating Maestri's act or find some other way to climb the mountain?

An interesting piece from Alpinist - possibly written by Michael Kennedy (father of Hayden) - http://www.alpinist.com/doc/ALP20/editors-note-maestri

ALC
In reply to a lakeland climber:

They look pretty shiny in the pics:

http://www.alpinist.com/doc/ALP11/climbing-note-grmovsek

I can't really imagine the setting encourages corrosion.

I really hope they have manage to remove the bolts and not just flatten them over!


Chris
a lakeland climber on 23 Jan 2012
In reply to Chris Craggs:

Those don't look like the other bolts I've seen photos of. Also the caption says that they are above the headwall but there's a lot of rock above.

The report that Mick quotes says that the police confiscated "the bolts" so presumably something has been removed, either hangers or the whole bolt/hanger assembly.

ALC
Michael Ryan - on 23 Jan 2012
In reply to a lakeland climber:
> (In reply to Nemo)
>

>
> An interesting piece from Alpinist - possibly written by Michael Kennedy (father of Hayden) - http://www.alpinist.com/doc/ALP20/editors-note-maestri
>

A great synopsis and overview of the history of the route.

In reply to a lakeland climber:
>
> Those don't look like the other bolts I've seen photos of. Also the caption says that they are above the headwall but there's a lot of rock above.
>
> The report that Mick quotes says that the police confiscated "the bolts" so presumably something has been removed, either hangers or the whole bolt/hanger assembly.
>
> ALC

If my memory serves me (and it may not) - they were actually golos, which don't have a hanger.


Chris
Ian Parsons - on 23 Jan 2012
In reply to Chris Craggs:

http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.php?topic_id=1725375&tn=220

If you scroll down you should find it.
In reply to Ian Parsons:

Cheers. Nice to know my memory isn't going yet!


Chris
Ian Parsons - on 23 Jan 2012
In reply to Chris Craggs:

It worked! I'm not usually much good at this computer stuff. Here's another shot of the same bunch in the hands of the local police; as Middendorf pointed out on the ST thread, they appear to be in remarkably good nick (no - that's not a pun).

http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.php?topic_id=1725375&tn=300
Mr Lopez - on 23 Jan 2012
In reply to UKC News:

Lol!! This is just getting better and better... So the first person to climb the Compressor 'by fair means' turns up to be David Lama! I want to see David, Kruk, Kennedy and Garibotti pitting it at the Oprah Winfrey show. Quality soap material just here!
SteveSBlake - on 24 Jan 2012
In reply to Ian Parsons:
> (In reply to Chris Craggs)
>
> It worked! I'm not usually much good at this computer stuff. Here's another shot of the same bunch in the hands of the local police; as Middendorf pointed out on the ST thread, they appear to be in remarkably good nick (no - that's not a pun).
>
> http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.php?topic_id=1725375&tn=300

The 'bolts' in the photos have little depth and have been reffered to as 'compression bolts', rather than exapansion bolts. They are I think, more akin to a deap rivet/star drivyn with their own hanger, than a bolt in the contemporary sense. It may explain why there are so many on the route, a shallow hole, one good whack and up you go.

Ged Desforges - on 24 Jan 2012
In reply to Al Onsight:
> (In reply to UKC News) If difficulties are 'only' 8a then there are a number of wads who've proved they're capable of climbing at this standard on big routes using gear. Dave Macleod on the Longhope route for example,

But that's only true if there is gear. Maybe not the case on blank granite

ice.solo - on 24 Jan 2012
In reply to UKC News:

wake me up when alex honnold solos it.
beardy mike - on 24 Jan 2012
In reply to SteveSBlake: It does beg the question why the big hoha - the holes are still usable, just hook your way to victory... 1 decent bolt mid pitch and you're on a winner. It might not quite be clean aid but at least it's closer...
Jubjab - on 24 Jan 2012
In reply to UKC News: it's not entirely clear from the news, but I assume Lama clipped at least part of the (remaining) bolts on the compressor route? Or not?
Ian Parsons - on 24 Jan 2012
In reply to SteveSBlake:

Indeed - intended for use in hard rock (granite etc, as in this case) they rely on an interference fit rather than expansion. Similar "bolts" were available for softer rock, with a slot and protruding thin wedge in the end - the end of the wedge would abutt the bottom of the hole and expand the shaft, in much the same way that the cone in the old caving "sleeve" bolts expanded the sleeve; I'm not sure whether the manufacturer of the CT gear - Cassin - also produced the expansion version, but they certainly existed.

They actually look quite long - compared, at least, to the one that I've just dug out of my collection! Mine has a total length of 60mm, of which the shaft contributes only 20mm. Those in the photo appear to have a shaft about the same length as the eye - ie 40mm; that makes them about the same length as the quarter-inch Rawl split-shaft bolts - also "compression", not expansion - that were the standard in Yosemite at the time. The one I'm looking at, however, has an 8mm shaft - 5/16 inch - which suggests that, fully inserted in exactly the right size hole, they might actually be stronger than their contemporaries elsewhere; the "right size hole" bit was probably crucial!
SteveSBlake - on 24 Jan 2012
In reply to Ian Parsons:
> (In reply to SteveSBlake)
>
> Indeed - intended for use in hard rock (granite etc, as in this case) they rely on an interference fit rather than expansion. Similar "bolts" were available for softer rock, with a slot and protruding thin wedge in the end - the end of the wedge would abutt the bottom of the hole and expand the shaft, in much the same way that the cone in the old caving "sleeve" bolts expanded the sleeve; I'm not sure whether the manufacturer of the CT gear - Cassin - also produced the expansion version, but they certainly existed.

Hi Ian,

I guess we'll never know their holding power, though they do seem to have come out quite cleanly - In the photos the bolts don't look like they've taken much of a beating to get out, and they look like they're soft steel.

From my armchair I see someone else has mentioned the holes are still there, and if someone's determined enough it would be 'straightforward' (as any steep alpine route in Patagonia!) to re establish it, , or hook it with the occasional bolt for pro?

Regards,

Steve
> They actually look quite long - compared, at least, to the one that I've just dug out of my collection! Mine has a total length of 60mm, of which the shaft contributes only 20mm. Those in the photo appear to have a shaft about the same length as the eye - ie 40mm; that makes them about the same length as the quarter-inch Rawl split-shaft bolts - also "compression", not expansion - that were the standard in Yosemite at the time. The one I'm looking at, however, has an 8mm shaft - 5/16 inch - which suggests that, fully inserted in exactly the right size hole, they might actually be stronger than their contemporaries elsewhere; the "right size hole" bit was probably crucial!

Mark Sweatmasn - on 24 Jan 2012
In reply to UKC News:

I am so confused... can anybody post a synopsis for some-one who is interested but doesn't know the whole history....
Roberttaylor - on 24 Jan 2012
In reply to Mark Sweatmasn: A long, long time ago in a galaxy far, far away...
CH - on 24 Jan 2012
In reply to Mark Sweatmasn:

I wrote some historical climbing info on my website a few years back that cover Cerro Torre ascents. It would need updated for latest events but it's all on Rolo's Pataclimb website now so best to look there.

http://www.colinhenderson.co.uk/patagonia-climbing.html
http://www.pataclimb.com/climbingareas/chalten/torregroup/torre.html
Max factor - on 24 Jan 2012
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