As of March 1st one of the world's richest climbing resources was made available online.
The American Alpine Club (AAC) was founded in 1902 and is the leading national organization in the United States devoted to mountaineering and climbing. Since 1929 the AAC has published the American Alpine Journal (the Journal) which is the premier annual record of significant mountaineering and long rock-climbing ascents worldwide.
Until now this 500-page journal was available as a benefit to members of the AAC, now in a revolutionary move it is available to everyone online. The AAJ Online is available on the American Alpine Club website. Go directly to the page at www.americanalpineclub.org/AAJO. There are no fees or registration requirements, it is a free service. Currently volumes back to 1966 are now available in this first roll out. Over time the remaining volumes back to 1929 will be made available.
This project was made possible by several individuals (see list), Ray Snead who put it all together, and with the support of Camp USA and Climbing magazine. "Without their help in splitting the complete AAJ pdfs into downloadable pieces, and other tasks, this service to the world's climbing community would not have been possible." said John Harlin III, editor of the Journal.
Phil Powers Executive Director of the AAC told UKClimbing.com that, " Our hope is that this makes the extraordinary history and research capacity that resides in the Journal available to anyone, anywhere."
The Journal gathers reports from all the first ascents of mountain and big wall routes worldwide. Reporting is generally limited to all-day routes (climbs of U.S. Commitment Grade IV and longer). As much as possible, articles and reports are written by the climbers themselves. The Journal reports on new routes, significant attempts, and occasionally on important repeat ascents.
We put Cerro Torre into the search page and it came up with "156 results found containing all search terms. 122 results found containing some search terms.28 pages of results."
Included is an account of Jim Bridwell and Steve Brewer's 1978 ascent of Maestri's Compressor Route where they had to use rivets, copperheads, and hooking on the final pitch as Maestri had stripped the bolts and then abandoned the infamous compressor which he had used to place them. You can read Bridwell's account here
Also available is Rolando Garibotti's exposť of Cesare Maestri in 'A Mountain Unveiled' published in the 2004 AAJ. It is available here
If you are planning an alpine or big wall trip the www.americanalpineclub.org/AAJO will be your first port of call.