/ NEWS: David Lama and Cerro Torre; A Mountain Set Free
So the 'Compressor Route' as it has stood for forty years is no more, with around a hundred of its bolts missing on the crucial upper reaches of the mountain...
Read more at http://www.ukclimbing.com/news/item.php?id=66281
Thanks for this, Jack.
I'd be interested to hear more about this 2007 meeting of Alpinists, if anyone was minded to post a link or anything.
I don't think, btw, that 'attenuate' means quite what you think it does!
Quaint for Lama to say he was especially proud of having done this without placing any additional bolts. Perhaps film crew bolts don't count.
It's an enjoyable article and a good conclusion to the story of the route. You certainly can't accuse it of being dull.
One of the meanings of attenuate is:
'to weaken or reduce in force, intensity, effect, quantity, or value: to attenuate desire.'
So I can see why Jack might have chosen it, but I agree, it is an interesting choice. Maybe it's something from the thesaurus? I would have chosen forced or chipped personally.
On supertopo.com's endless thread Rolando Garibotti claims that:
“The 2007 meet and "democratic vote" was little more than a farce. There was no democracy at work because few, if any, true "local climbers" were present. The assembly participants were clearly not a good "sample" of this "particular universe". The decision was nowhere close to being a "community agreement".”
Well, to my mind this is like Everest being done without oxygen at last. The difference is, ascents WITH oxygen continued on Everest after 1978, and the mountain's two ordinary routes have turned into a circus.
Now Cerro Torre has had a 'by fair means only' ethic imposed. Say what you like about the actions of Kruk and Kennedy, who have received tirades of abuse on the internet (see the whining prigs on Alpinist.com, where the website of a pretty awesome magazine gets devalued by a couple of regular inadequate armchair spraymeisters; thank god UKclimbing hives off the debate onto a separate page). Whether we see them as ill-informed, arrogant or otherwise, they have done the mountain a favour.
Nice article, thanks.
Hats off to the two Yanks who stripped the route. I sense that ti will be rebolted.
Normally, the discussion of, if or not to bolt tend to be btw sport and trad climbers. A bit odd to get climbers who are interested of the more alpine element to be pro bolting Cerro Torre
What's strange is that it's caused such fuss.
If you'd asked me a month ago what would happen if someone chopped the compressor route i'd have guessed people would have been applauding. It seems like one of the most black and white cases for bolt chopping. I love sport climbing and I love alpinism. Neither part of me sees the need or place for bolt ladders on cerror torre but hey.
I don't even see it as that bigger restriction, realistically any climber going to patagonia will be able to climb 5.11 A2.
> What's strange is that it's caused such fuss.
I agree - I honestly don't understand how anyone can think that having a string of bolts up a peak such as Cerro Torre is a good thing to be preserved.
Ironically it's surely the bolts that have made the peak so famous. Just think of an equal to CT, the Trango tower. Sure it's famous too, but it doesn't get half the attention in the climbing media that CT gets, even before this latest circus. In that light the bolts, the compressor and most of all Maestri, are an important bit of history. I'm never likely to go there, so it really doesn't mean a thing to me, but given a say (which I'm not entitled to), I'd say leave them. And the compressor - until it falls off on its own accord. Nothing to do with ethics. Just history.
> Ironically it's surely the bolts that have made the peak so famous. Just think of an equal to CT, the Trango tower. Sure it's famous too, but it doesn't get half the attention in the climbing media that CT gets, even before this latest circus.
Is that a good thing, or a bad thing? Or just a thing?
It's not the bolts that are the history, it's the placing of them. That part of the story will never go away - you don't need them to be left in place for that part of the story to stay the same. You don't need Toni Kurz's body to be left hanging on the Eiger to know that story.
The environmental impact was minimal compared to tons of rubbish elsewhere, so its impact is ethical - it lives on in the minds and outraged attitudes of right-thinking climbers & commentators everywhere.
The chopping is an act of vandalism against the original 'work' (as art has always attracted vandals), and it is this act that has caused the upset, as it was this work that ensured the mountain's popularity, notoriety and profile. Without that unique 'piece' it is less of an attraction - would so many people visit the Louvre if the Mona Lisa was repatriated to Italy ?
With a trip to the Patagucci store, a guide and some acclimatisation, you too could clip your way up Cerro Torre - now its just another 5.11 / A2 / 8a.
> Hats off to the two Yanks who stripped the route. I sense that ti will be rebolted.
Most climbers who are competent enough to get up to the headwall pitch with hundreds of bolts will not be particularly interested in rebolting it...
Have you ever been to Patagonia? And tried to climb anything at all?!
Some thoughts from Leo Dickinson
No it's not the bolts that have made it famous (infamy is not the same as fame). Cerro Torre is famous because of its apparent "impossibility" that Maestri decided to "murder". No mountain has left me as speechless and slackjawed as my first sight of Cerro Torre. Photographs cannot do it justice - it is every wondering child's perfect mountain - the ultimate mountaineer's mountain. With the Compressor Route being partially (and, I hope, along with every other bolt on the mountain, eventually chopped), it's aura of difficulty which presumably drew Maestri in the first place has been largely restored This can surely only be a good thing. Anyone who carries a drill on Cerro Torre (or anywhere else in the range in my opinion) is committing a crime against the perfect crucible of pure alpinism.
Jon, you should go there. You might even see what I'm tring to get at!
As I said, I have no real feelings about it. But given the backlash that the boys experienced, obviously there IS a feeling that they should stay, maybe as I suggested, for historical reasons - I don't know (obviously there are real feelings that they should go, too). Your reply - which I have absolutely no problem with - does sort of beg the question, do we need museums? Why not photograph everything, then just destroy it. Indeed like archaeologists are forced to do nowadays when they are called in to building projects.
Rob, I know and respect your views, and I'm not arguing against them. My reply was trying to answer the question 'why is there such a fuss about the boys having taken them out'.
What me or them! Maybe, who knows.
> Why not photograph everything, then just destroy it.
Because there is no benefit in destroying most historical artefacts. But this is a bunch of bolts which should never have been placed there in the first place. They don't need to be preserved to retain their place in history.
> Nice article, thanks.
> Hats off to the two Yanks who stripped the route. I sense that ti will be rebolted.
Really? Can you imagine the flak they'd be in for, especially now its free.
My Jacob, that's fighting talk. Good to have a dream, though.
I would imagine that the vested interests of a few in Chaltern, with commercial concerns, thinking fewer climbers will now come to Cerro Torre, not to mention the climbers past and present who have climbed or desire to do this "via ferrata". There is no legacy, this fair means ascent turns a new page in the history and evolution of this iconic spire.
> It's not the bolts that are the history, it's the placing of them. That part of the story will never go away - you don't need them to be left in place for that part of the story to stay the same. You don't need Toni Kurz's body to be left hanging on the Eiger to know that story.
Though i'd still leave the compressor hanging at the top of the route. Like the boats washed miles inland by tsunamis, a forgotten monolith to a tradegy :)
Wouldn't that be ironic!
To be wiped out by a falling petrol driven compressor. Normal objective dangers don't usually include that.
> To be wiped out by a falling petrol driven compressor. Normal objective dangers don't usually include that.
I'd actually be in favour of leaving just the compressor as a momento of the history of the route. Perhaps reinforce its moorings though.....
You surprise me Rob. Thank goodness we agree on something. Or have I just been had?
> You surprise me Rob. Thank goodness we agree on something. Or have I just been had?
No, I'm serious!
I can't help but wonder, did they really summit? Personally, I find it hard to believe. Come on, don't tell me it didn't cross your mind? For starters, any summit shots? The one on Mammut's website (http://peakproject.mammut.ch/ko/basecamp-news?page=12) could have well been taken on the Ben as far as I can tell? Except he wouldn't look as if he just walked out of Cotswold...
Having read that I'm even more confused than before. Not whether they actually stood on the summit, but where is the 8a bit? He talks about changing back to mountain boots, then climbing a one metre wide crack with ice in it. I thought they'd bivvied at the Ice Towers (or something) and he doesn't seem to mention that. He says he followed the Maestri route, then the Bridwell route, but doesn't go into detail.
His write up in his blog seems to describe a completely different climb...
> I would imagine that the vested interests of a few in Chaltern, with commercial concerns, thinking fewer climbers will now come to Cerro Torre,
But will fewer climbers go to Cerro Torre as a result of the bolts being chopped? Did many (any?) climbers actually use the bolt ladder?
> I can't help but wonder, did they really summit? Personally, I find it hard to believe. Come on, don't tell me it didn't cross your mind? For starters, any summit shots? The one on Mammut's website (http://peakproject.mammut.ch/ko/basecamp-news?page=12) could have well been taken on the Ben as far as I can tell? Except he wouldn't look as if he just walked out of Cotswold...
And indeed has anyone guided Cerro Torre? Presumably a pricey trip if they have!
> That photo is attached to a 2011 blog entry.
Ah yes. That's why I was confused then. March 2011. So it was a different ascent.
> Confused Jon
Maybe the whole thing is made up! That would bring the whole Maestri saga neatly full circle and no doubt satisfy the unforgiving Red Bull vigilantes....
Must be the radon gas that granite gives off that affects anyone who trys to climb it...? But in fact it was a blog from last year.
There is no Cerro Torre. The entire thing is a hoax - it was cooked up via a couple of afternoons on Napes Needle and some clever photo manipulation.
Can't go back to have another look at that post as:
"We are currently working on a important update of our website.
Please visit us again later."
But if that's the case then there is no summit photo online? Eh, nevermind.
Plenty of forthcoming video footage from both 'on the mountain' and chopper cams. However, it'll take some time before they can edit it, so you probably still have a few weeks to make an arse of yourself if you so wish...
> There is no Cerro Torre. The entire thing is a hoax - it was cooked up via a couple of afternoons on Napes Needle and some clever photo manipulation.
Napes Needle? You don't believe that old fairy tale do you?
I'm sure it will all look lovely. Until then I will keep "making an arse of myself" or just "remain sceptical" as normal people would describe it.
See here for a summit picture and some details of their ascent: http://www.alpinist.com/doc/web12w/newswire-kruk-kennedy-statement
I think it's reasonable to permit them some celebration time before expecting them to have published evidence. Most of the climbing community isn't as "sceptical" as you (scare quotes around sceptical because I consider scepticism an important quality and think you're doing the term a disservice).
That's a write up for Kennedy & Kruk ascent. I guess you're right. Maybe I'm too sceptical. Time to move on with my life :)
> See here for a summit picture and some details of their ascent: http://www.alpinist.com/doc/web12w/newswire-kruk-kennedy-statement
> I think it's reasonable to permit them some celebration
* We hooted and hollered into the night *
* Grabbing the rack and changing into crampons, we high-fived and I took off *
Don't they realise saving the world and cleaning up after other lesser mortals is a serious business and should be approached with a sense of decorum. Kids, huh?
1) Toni Egger was Austrian, not Italian.
2) The controversy is not about whether or not a bolt ladder should or could exist on a mountain. I hope we all see that and not fall into a sterile discussion on ethic or the good and the evil or whathever.
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