Dozens of Bolts Added to Compressor Route

Posted on: June 1, 2010


Cerro Torre, Argentina, Patagonia. David Lama and Daniel Steuerer attempted the iconic peak this season hoping to make the first free ascent of the infamous Compressor Route. In the process, their film team added roughly 60 bolts to the line and abandoned about 700 meters of fixed ropes, stirring controversy. Both the climbers and film crew involved have denied wrongdoing. [Photo] Leo Dickinson

Austrian wunderkind David Lama set off for Argentine Patagonia in November 2009 with a noble plan. The 19-year-old and his partner, Daniel Steuerer, would try for the first free ascent of Cerro Torre's southeast ridge: the Compressor Route. After three months of bad weather and failed attempts, the climbers and their film crew left, but about 60 new bolts and 700 meters of fixed lines remained.

In 1959, Cesare Maestri claimed the first ascent of Cerro Torre. His assertion was met with incredulity and disputed heavily over the next decade. Maestri returned in 1970 to prove he could reach the top—but did so at the expense of the mountain. His team installed about 450 bolts, including a bolt ladder on the headwall, with a compressor-powered drill. These are perhaps the most infamous and debated bolts on earth. Partly in response to Maestri's climb, Reinhold Messner wrote "The Murder of the Impossible" in 1971, proclaiming, "Times change, and with them concepts and values. Faith in equipment has replaced faith in oneself."

In an interview with Redbull.com on November 17, 2009—the day before he departed for Argentina—Lama compared the ethics of today with Maestri's: "Cesare Maestri, who made the first ascent in 1970, left an entire highway of bolts and pitons in the mountain's south-east face, which has nothing to do with today's climbing ethics... Back in the days of old school mountaineering only conquering the peak was important—not so much how this goal was reached." Lama added that he planned to make the first free ascent of the Compressor Route and return home without leaving any noticeable mark on the iconic peak. He stated that it was "not in our interest to leave any traces."

However, to capture the footage they desired, the Red Bull film crew documenting Lama's ascent installed about 60 new bolts. The crew bolted a new rappel line to the ground from the Col de la Patiencia. They also added a number of new bolts above the col, according to Horacio Graton, an Argentine guide. Many were in locations "where there is readily available natural protection and where not even Cesare Maestri drilled in 1970," said climber and Patagonia historian Rolando Garibotti.

At the end of the season, Graton and three others were hired by Red Bull to clean up what the film team left on-route. The four carried away gear from the col and 700 meters of rope from the route. A press release from Red Bull Media House stated that "only bolts and one haul bag have been left to allow a quick completion of the project" next season.

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In an email to Alpinist, Lama said that bad weather and "danger of avalanche" kept the team from removing the gear before departing. Lama plans to return next Austral summer to finish freeing the southeast ridge; the film team then plans to remove the bolts they placed.

Despite these promises, climbers have noted that the bolts, even if removed, will leave permanent scars. Others remain skeptical that the metal will be removed at all. Just as conditions kept the film crew from cleaning up this season, bad weather could again stymie hopes of dismantling bolts.

Of greater concern, perhaps, is that new bolts were placed at all given that the Compressor Route qualifies as one of the most renowned climbs on earth.

"I would like to know what would happen if this summer I visited Austria and added dozens of bolts to Locker vom Hocker, Wolfgang Gullich and Kurt Albert's well known route, or to routes from Mathias Rebisch or Albert Precht," wrote Garibotti in a recent editorial for Desnivel.com on this subject. "In relation to the fixed ropes I wonder how people would react if I left fixed ropes for an entire summer on routes like the Fish on Marmolada, or the Philipp Flamm on the Civetta, or on the American Direct on the west face of the Dru, or any other classic hard route in the Alps."

Leo Dickinson filming on the Compressor Route in 1971, a year after Cesare Maestri bolted Cerro Torre's southeast ridge. Dickinson left only a few pieces of clean protection at his highpoint (the headwall ice towers) and no additional fixed gear. [Photo] Leo Dickinson

In 1971, a year after Maestri's ascent, videographer Leo Dickinson climbed and filmed on the Compressor Route. Dickinson left only a few pieces of clean protection at his highpoint (the headwall ice towers) and no additional fixed gear. While he and the rest of the team did not reach the summit, his reaction to the bolts on the Compressor Route compelled him to travel to Italy to interview Maestri. The result was a film entitled Cerro Torre—The Rape of a Mountain. In a recent email to Alpinist, he wrote: "In my view all bolts should be stripped from Cerro Torre and it declared a bolt free zone by the National Park. The rock of Cerro Torre and Fitzroy is eminently suitable for gear [that] can be removed."

Coming from a different perspective, Lama and partners stated that they had local permission for their ascent and therefore blanket approval, including acquiescence to new bolts on Cerro Torre.

"Please know that every step that was made by our team in Parque Nacional Los Glaciares and the Cerro Torre was executed in accordance with the rules and regulations as set out by the local mountain guides and the park administration," the Red Bull release stated. "I don't believe that we did anything wrong, as for everything done we had the permission of the people in charge," Lama added.

"It is not the legality of the bolts they placed that is at stake here," Garibotti said. "The Park does not regulate bolting, much in the same way that Yosemite National Park does not. Legally I could place hundreds of bolts on the Nose—as long as I did it by hand—without any legal consequences, but that does not make it OK within the community. Not adding bolts to existing routes, especially historic routes, is one of the best known unwritten rules of climbing."

Another long-time Patagonian activist echoed this sentiment. "I am appalled at the consequences of the Lama debacle," Jim Donini said. "Ironic, isn't it, that bolts and fixed ropes should be employed in the process of trying to make a climb more 'difficult.' The climbing world seems far too attached to the rating affixed to a climb."

Lama ended his email to Alpinist by writing: "The most respect though I have for Cerro Torre itself, which in my opinion is one of the most beautiful peaks in the world, and this should stay the same..."

Sources: David Lama, Guido Kruetschnigg, Horacio Graton, Rolando Garibotti, Leo Dickinson, "The Murder of the Impossible" (Messner), redbull.com, desnivel.com

The Cerro Torre group at sunset, as viewed from Innominata. [Photo] Leo Dickinson

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Comments
dustonian

Man I hope Tommy swoops in and frees this thing first... maybe that will shut this ignorant little spraylord up for good.

2010-08-29 09:00:49
discshooter30

sorry you my friend jongalt are correct DOES NOT condone these actions, my apologies

2010-07-21 08:32:53
jongalt

I think discshootah means "refudiates"

2010-07-21 02:31:10
discshooter30

Dude Will Gadd is a stud and had nothing to do with this and condones these action as well, check out his blog. gravsports.blogspot.com/ redbull on the other hand still on the fence, never drank that shit in the first place

2010-07-14 08:37:55
ramblin'

Are all professionals hookers then? And even though Will Gadd was no where near this, he is to blame?

2010-07-14 01:02:42
claytrell

...and with all due respect, Will Gadd is as much to blame as anyone... Here's a secret^> (Professional climber = whoor). I wish the ghost of Charlie Fowler would come back and kick all your asses!

2010-07-13 06:37:54
claytrell

I've had a Red Bull nearly every day for about 4 years. I will never drink another Red Bull again. Plenty of other energy drinks out there. It's 5 hour energy for me now! Fuck Red Bull and all this horseshit. This problem started the very second the first douchebag climber decided to call himself an 'athlete'.

2010-07-13 06:31:32
jaee

I think you guys are onto something. Vote with your feet. Vote with your pocketbook.

No RedBolt No RedBullshit

Don't drink the uncool-aid.

Don't attend the uber-cool superficial "extreme sports" contests, exhibitions, etc. sponsored by these guys.

Make some coffee. Drink some tea. Who needs the chemicals.

2010-07-08 09:37:28
Graham

I wrote RedBull too, and here's the response I got: Dear Graham,

Thank you so much for sending us your concern.

Your email wasn't the only one about this topic and right now we try to figure out a solution with David Lama and the Red Bull Austria Team. Please see as well the endeavors of Will Gadd (another Red Bull athlete) to find a solution in this case - gravsports.blogspot.com/. You can also get in touch with Will via email: gadd@gravsports.com as he is really well informed about the whole matter.

Thank you for your time. Best regards,

Lisa Salcher Red Bull Canada Inc.

2010-06-15 07:32:20
luddite russ

the way things are headed someday you'll be able to don your ultimate-reality-headset, sit in an overstuffed armchair, and squeeze some plastic holds in order to brag that you've climbed one of the hardest routes in the world.

how many years of cleansing ceremony & prayer did the Navajo say it took to restore Shiprock to it's sacredness after David Brower placed that first bolt??

i may only be one of those weak-ass mere mortals who gets pitifully few days a year on real rock. but i'd rather work my way up a route of moderate difficulities on my own accord (and feel damn good about it!), than climb a bolt ladder to the sky, no matter how exotic the location, how thrilling the exposure, or how challenging the route.

ethics are not regulated to just the elite, but they are role-models right?? like one greedy capitalist it doesn't take many to screw it up the rest of us.

2010-06-13 05:28:10
icetrollet

wow.. what they have done is very very disturbing.i hope that redbull, lama, and mammut scrub this foolish idea.

2010-06-11 05:14:15
Damo

Red Bull's response is the typical corporate prevarication you'd expect. A wall of spin and bullshit to try and evade the fact that one of their people f#$ked up.

Patagonia did exactly the same thing re: Delicate Arch. They put up a wall of corporate tasty-talk to duck and weave and lie to try and buy themselves time in the hope people will forget, and keep buying their crap. Then they sacked Dean Potter.

Another Red Bull climber, Will Gadd, gives what I believe is a good summary at: gravsports.blogspot.com/2010/06/david-lama-red-bull-patagonia.html

Lama has form on this type of thing, he should know better by now, after the UK episode. The guides who bolted the route definitely should know better.

They were stupid. They did the wrong thing. Red Bull will not admit this and is trying to cover it up with spin. Covering for fools with lies never turns out well.

2010-06-10 07:35:19
R. P. Finney

I wrote Red Bull, here is what I wrote and below it is their response.

Dear Red Bull,

I have just read an article posted by Alpinist magazine regarding a Red Bull sponsored climbing expedition in Patagonia Chile. The goal of this expedition was to film Red Bull sponsored athlete David Lama climbing Cerro Torre. Your film crew and your athlete David Lama committed many egregious acts while attempting this climb. They conducted themselves with total disregard for international climbing ethics and basic respect for the environment. Their acts have sent shockwaves through the international climbing community.

It is my humble opinion that Red Bull not sponsors the return expedition to Cerro Torre. I suggest that Red Bull make some kind of reparations for these transgressions too.

Sincerely,

Their response:

The Red Bull Media House is producing a film featuring David Lama’s attempt to free climb the compressor route on Cerro Torre. Due to bad weather, the production had to be stopped and is currently on hold waiting for the next Patagonian summer.

Red Bull takes the protection of nature and the safety of human lives very seriously and has a long history in producing high quality productions in extreme circumstances and exposed areas. The entire shoulder and wall has been cleaned of our — and older — material which was found. Only one haul bag and 30 bolts, which had do be used due to falling ice and to protect the main climbing route, has been left. Every step of the whole endeavor was planned and executed in close accordance with the local administration of Parque Nacional Los Glaciares. After completion of the project, everything will be removed.

Have a soaring day,

2010-06-10 05:12:45
e9climbing.blogspot.com

If Red Bull pay for my cost I would be prepared to go down and clean up the mess!

2010-06-09 13:51:44
Lisa Porter

This is really, really sad.

If you are thinking about putting a bolt in rock, please think about it, ask about the local history, and inquire about the local climbing community's feelings on bolting.

2010-06-08 06:46:13
the dude

I am the same age as this fellow, and even my impulsive, irrational teenage mind is overwhelmed by how wrong this all is. I am born and raised in Bozeman, Montana, and having grown up interacting with and hearing about the likes of Alex Lowe, Jack Tackle, Doug Chabot, Conrad Anker and plenty of other strong, dignified men and women, what was done seems an insincere and boneheaded attempt to contribute something to that great range. As a member of a new generation of alpinists trying to find a place in the pursuit, I remind the community that not everyone my age is a hotshot looking to find the same radness and cinematic shock value in mountain climbing that sport climbing provides. It would seem that David Lama has spent his life learning how to free climb at a high level, while brushing aside the complex spiritual and ethical history that comes with a serious persuit of Alpinism. Perhaps if he had spent more time wandering in the mountains with good friends and less time kissing up to sponsors and downing protein shakes, he would not adopt such ignorant and ethically dubious methods of climbing.

2010-06-04 21:54:10
mc

Shame

2010-06-04 00:27:22
Jason_Martin

It seems incredibly unlikely that Red Bull is worried about climbers boycotting their product. While some outdoors people drink Red Bull, such individuals are probably not even a blip on the screen of their corporate radar. Indeed, it is likely that most people who drink the energy drink have never even heard of Cerro Torre or Dave Lama or bolting ethics or even of the word "alpinism."

No, instead the pressure should be on Lama. He doesn't appear to understand that he did anything wrong and as a couple of posts here show, this might not be the first time such a thing has happened. It appears that he might have a hard time understanding climbing ethics. My bet is that as he interacts with older and more experienced climbers — particularly alpinists with strong anti-bolting views from North America — the gravity of the situation will likely become more clear.

It would be terrible if this incident becomes a life-long blight on this young climber's career in the mountains. But there really is only one way to keep that from happening:

The kid's got to go and clean up after himself...

alpineinstitute.blogspot.com/2010/06/cerro-torre-and-red-bolt-controversy.html

2010-06-03 23:51:29
bmacd

Every bolt that Llama and Co. has ever placed should be chopped, including future ones

2010-06-03 11:32:18
Canadian Bacon

"Back in the days of old school mountaineering only conquering the peak was important..." and nowadays its your f**king film crew. I sure Lama was able to Twitter from up there.

2010-06-03 05:39:19
snaffelhound

We can only hope that some of the other Red Bull "athletes" see the error in there sponsorship and abandon the red and blue tit for a more ethical cash cow. This treatment of our mountains should not be tolerated and we should not give our money for this product or our praise to those who do not see the error in there ways.

No more Red Bull, no more ridiculous red and blue helmets on our heroes.

2010-06-03 03:29:30
rtwilli4

Lama has done this before, but it wasn't on one of the "Holy Grails of the Earth." A few years ago he led a group of climbers in Northern Malaysia that proceeded to throw up something like 50 routes in 8 days, basically grid bolting an amazing limestone wall in Bukit Keteri. They said they were "bringing climbing tourism to Malaysia" but all they really did was fuck up the area.

After climbing most of the easier routes I realized that many of them had never even been climbed... just bolted with no forethought. The entire right side of the wall (about 30 routes from 5.8 to 5.12) is grid bolted on sharp, poor quality rock; an obvious attempt to put up as many routes as possible. Furthermore, the routes were never cleaned, leaving GIANT FLAKES AND BOULDERS, ready to be pulled off!

The new standard in SE Asia is to use Titanium, or at least Stainless Steele glue in bolts. The stone here erodes the bolts from the inside, causing expansion bolts to corrode inside the rock, while looking new on the outside. Lama and company used expansion bolts... and poorly designed Mammut bolts at that. They will have to be replaced (by who?), or the area will rust away within the next decade.

After they were finished, they left no proper anchors at the top of the routes, horribly constructed ladders for access, and no safety lines or fixed lines to assist in getting up to the second tier of the tower. They left no information with any of the locals, and not even an old climbing rope or pair of shoes for the locals to use. Their "expedition" will get some unsuspecting climber killed someday.

How is this bringing tourism to Malaysia? All they wanted to do was put up as many routes as possible, and Lama wanted to get credited for the FA on the hardest route in Asia. They used the tourism thing to get permission from the local authorities to grid bolt the wall.

I have done what I can to add new ladders, fixed lines, and proper anchors to the wall, but Lama is a sponsored climber on an "expedition" sponsored by Mammut. Why should I have to finish his work?

They showed an entire group of young people who are new to the sport that doing a half ass job is OK, and bolting unsafe rock is OK as long as you don't have to climb it later!

They left the locals with no way of climbing their routes, much less making any money through tourism.

They took the opportunity away from people like me... to do the job THE RIGHT WAY!

I've tried to call a few people out on this area so that it won't happen again, but I always get the runaround. Of course no one is going to say "yea, that was a bad idea." They will continue to exploit the third world... the planet.

PS I don't want to drive people away from this area. The routes on the left side and everything above 5.12 are amazing and much of the rock is of a very high quality. Be careful on the right side. The locals are amazing and you will love them! Go teach the new climbing community how to really take care of an area, and explain that just because Lama can climb hard and has a helicopter, doesn't mean he isn't an ignorant little dip shit.

2010-06-02 21:05:54
Jane

David Lama and his team should learn how to place gear before they went up Cerro Torre. And, Red Bull sucks...

2010-06-02 10:42:42
andy kirkpatrick

Guess this is the aftertaste of sucking satan's cock (kind of red bull flavoured?) Money talks - bullshit walks - and shit gets left behind.

Lets not be too hard on the lad though, as I think 99% of climbers, offered fame and fortune, a free trip and no doupt a big boost to their bank account would probably do the same. It's what he/they do about it that counts now.

andy

2010-06-02 04:34:55
ClintHelander

This is such bullshit. If you're going to climb the route free, that's great. If you're going to film it, that's great. If you're going to haul an elephant up the route, go for it. But to bring the whole fucking circus up on such an iconic mountain/iconic route (see: rich and argumentative history) work on adding style, not stripping it. Wasn't it Josh Wharton who almost freed the Compressor Route several years ago? He did it in STYLE. He had some CLASS. He did it with just a partner, a rope and some protection. Wait...scratch that. He ignored almost all the bolts. That's style. That's class.

How was this little bitch ass expecting to get through the rime? I bet he's never held an ice ax in his life.

Alpinism (and Cerro Torre is alpinism, this isn't some sea side cliff in spain with beaches and hot fan girls twiddling their beans while your grunt your way up overhanging limestone) is about small teams, good style and minimalism. Bringing a camera crew circus up on cerro torre so some 19 year old sport climber can "free cerro torre" is bullshit anyways. The addition of bolts and fixed mank on cerro torre is dredging up the past. It is a reversal of style. It isn't even style at all. Even if you free the whole damned route, if you add bolts then remove them, you have just negated any credibility of your ascent.

This is complete bullshit.

Stick to places where you can climb with your shirt off, kid. Or develop a climbing attitude that employs style and progresses all aspects of climbing.

Aside from Red Bull probably liquifying your innards, I will use this as decision to boycott Red Bull. LAME!

2010-06-02 04:31:04
Schooner

I see this as a natural consequence of the mainstreaming of climbing and alpinism. So many of you, and don't deny it, are trying as hard as you can to avoid "work" and just be climbers full-time. Head cams, blogs, new GH-1's to film yo'self doing something rad that everybody needs to check-out...including those Mountain Dew sponsors and Nat Geo. Yeah, of course, screw Red Bullshit but also include Black Diamond, Patagonia,Inc., Mountain Hardwear and all those labels that so many like to fill themselves with...dreams of full-time sponsorship and FAME. Of course people will begin to do these stunts to get their name on the bill. Most of us support it and advocate it. Of course, many don't, but that minority is the "old schoolers" and the "old school converts". Remember that guy that used to say ,"Talk minus action equals zilch." (M.T.- used without permission). Well, those days are dead and gone nearly. Rescue helicopters on stand-by in the Himalaya? More and more new grant awards popping up every year, often on the tails of a very dramatic loss, just to get new hopeful sponsorees on the train. It is out-of-control. Where does it end? Well, I think it needs to end here and now with this totally dip-witted- wannabee-completely clueless stunt on one of the Holy Grails of the World. No disrespect to any who have commmented on this issue as I respect everyone who has chimed in on this and I respect most of the soulful and righteous brothers and sisters I have met on my world climbing travels into the hills. Really it just comes down to , " Have some soul." But those ethics are turned around and twisted by so many stickers, labels and false hopes of being a full-time dude. Hey, I got an idea...how about instead of blogging and spraying and bolting, write a book. Even if it is on the heels of failure. And as for this Austrian kid that bolted Cerro Torre.... I got a pretty good idea what would happen to him in the climbing world if he did that in Yosemite. I am not implying threats, I am implying legal action...the way these types of debacles are dealth with in the adult world. Red Bull has a lot of money...maybe Parque Los Glaciares could squeeze a dime from them. And, of course, there is the underworld, or sub-culture. They have their own ways of ostracizing and dealing. Maybe we just need to shut it down for a little. Just like the world fisheries need to be shut down for a little while. To heal, to recuperate, to reflect. Also, my last somewhat point, is that this is also another cry out to the climbing elders to mentor the youngsters. Lead by example. Lead with some soul. This is just downright absolutely shocking and something needs to change......

2010-06-01 23:32:08
merkurio

RED BULLSHIT!!!!!!! (credits to mihai tanase) David Lama freeclimber (LOL)

scotty vincik - mihai tanase - pcarp - Healyje - tb69wemt - kunlun - Nate Furman - samh - zswinston - David G - Gregory Crouch - Phil L. - Jon Walsh - jongalt

I subscribe to what they say.

2010-06-01 21:17:53
scotty vincik

Beat this a-hole to a pulp. Knock out his front teeth next time you get with in arms reach. This douchebag is screwing up the future of the whole sport so he can spray to his sponsors. Screw Red Bull. Yeah, go to the valley, and add 60 bolts the Nose. I hope you get beaten till your bowels unload in your pants. I hope Red Bull tastes good in your hospital bed.

This is the most arrogant, jackass, disrespectful stunt. Zero class. To suck up to Red Bull, you'll sell out your self respect and the ethics of climbing?

2010-06-01 15:30:34
mihai tanase

Red bullshit!

2010-06-01 15:12:44
pcarp

Why not pull of this crap off the route and re-name it when someone can actually climb it free? Passive acceptance of wrong doing in the past, especially for cynical and/or egotistical reasons has no place in climbing culture. Reversing this poor decision has more historical merit than just leaving it.

2010-06-01 10:56:52
Healyje

Lama: "...except for bolts used for the production which will definitely be removed after next years attempt. Personally, I don’t believe that we did anything wrong..."

Chopping the bolts after the fact isn't the issue. It's sinking a raft of vanity bolts for "the production" and thinking you didn't do anything wrong in the process that's the heart of the problem.

Hopefully you'll eventually get as good a grasp on reality and ethics as you have on rock...

2010-06-01 08:37:19
tb69wemt

WOW....simply unbelievable that bolts would be added to the most over bolted route on earth....shameful...Red Bull will never see another penny of my money and everyone I know will be told to boycott RED BOLT .......No MORE RED BOLT

2010-06-01 08:31:11
kunlun

Almost unbelievable. Amazing that Red Bull and David Lama are so clueless.

I'll never drink Red Bull after this. I'll also tell every climber I know why they should BOYCOTT RED BULL.

2010-06-01 07:28:11
Nate Furman

Man, I liked Red Bull. But from here on out, I'll drink my own pee before that stuff.

2010-06-01 05:44:07
samh

What an absolute travesty. We can only hope that through growing up (Lama is but nineteen years old) David will gain wisdom and perspective. Legality and morality are often a far cry from one another. As for Red Bull - well, I'll just leave that subject lie.

2010-06-01 05:42:04
zswinston

It's very simple really. I work in a climbing shop. Any time I see someone drinking a Red Bull I'll pass along this little story. I advise all like-minded mountain users to do the same.

2010-06-01 05:40:36
David G

Youth and stupidity this is a problem. The beauty of climbing the Compressor Route is being over shadowed by the lust for glory and popularity.Oh the ego to what end. I love this place and that route will always fill my heart with joy and inspire me. Now we all know once a bolt is placed even removal leaves a trace. Faith in equipment has replaced faith in oneself."Reinhold Friend you have said the truth more than once. I guess the new saying should be Red Bull has Bolts Not Wings. David Gilmore

2010-06-01 05:38:05
Gregory Crouch

If I live for a thousand years, I will never drink a Red Bull again.

2010-06-01 04:52:03
Phil L.

Very surprised and disappointed to see such disregard for Patagonian climbing tradition and ethics from such a promising young climber. Especially considering that historically the Compressor route remains an example of an over-bolted route in a place where most ascensionists eschew the use of bolts.

Also, it seems it's not the first time Lama's big sponsored trips end up infuriating locals albeit with a different company (ie. Team Mammut's recent trip on English Grit-stone and the tick-marks they left everywhere).

Were these unwritten rules Garibotti points to clear enough for this route?

It sounds like damage control time for Red Bull and Mr. Lama.

2010-06-01 04:48:38
Jon Walsh

I will never drink red bull again.

2010-06-01 03:45:24
jongalt

Lama seems to think that his "free" climbing is completely unrelated from the film crew following his every move. I dont know this for sure but he seems to hold onto a sport climbing mentality where he will go and practice move after move on the peak getting it all perfected and then make his free ascent.

Personally, I find this type of practice in the mountains even less honorable than the climber who comes and aids his way up an unknown route. While Messner talked about the murder of the impossible, I see such climbs as the murder of the adventure.

What is too bad is that Lama represents not just himself but the whole central European climbing community to many other climbers. When he does something like this the rest of the world sits back and says "bolt happy Euros". Props for Rolo for bringing this to the attention of the world and for putting forward good ethics for the community.

Maybe Red Bull should make a movie where some Argentinian Climber takes Lama out and teaches him good climbing ethics on a new route???

Or maybe an Elbsandstein climber could take Lama out to place some knots?

Also hiring local guides to come and clean up his mess is kind of lame. Props to the guides, but part of good stewardship and respect for the environment means taking an active role and responsibility, not letting someone else clean up after you.

2010-06-01 02:07:00
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