Compressor Chopped - Kennedy Kruk Update

Posted on: January 20, 2012


In a SuperTopo post yesterday, 1/19/12, Patagonia expert and resident Rolando Garibotti reaffirmed that Hayden Kennedy and Jason Kruk climbed the south east ridge of Cerro Torre in thirteen hours bypassing Maestri's bolt ladders, though most likely using some of his anchors. Garibotti wrote that Kennedy and Kruk only clipped five bolts while leading, four from the 1999 attempt by Ermanno Salvaterra and one placed by Chris Geisler on his and Kruk's attempt last year. Kennedy and Kruk followed a line nearly identical to the one Kruk attempted with Geisler. This year Kennedy and Kruk used a pendulum (in the final pitch of the 2011 attempt) to connect three pitches of discontinuous features to reach the summit, validating Geisler's statement that he and Kruk had been "tantalizingly close." According to Garibotti their line goes at 5.11 A2. Garibotti also wrote, "During the descent they chopped a good portion of the Compressor route, including the entire headwall and one of the pitches below. The Compressor route is no more."

For more information on the creation and controversy of the Compressor Route read the Editor's note from Alpinist 20.


News Flash: The following news flash is a preliminary report posted as a service to our readers. Alpinist has not confirmed the veracity of its contents but will post a story in detail when more information becomes available. —Ed.

Yesterday Hayden Kennedy and Jason Kruk made the first "fair-means" ascent of the infamous Compressor Route, Cerro Torre's Southeast Ridge. Colin Haley, who watched the ascent from Norwegos, estimates the climb took them thirteen hours from their bivy on the shoulder to the summit.

"The speed with which they navigated virgin ground on the upper headwall is certainly testament to Hayden's great skills on rock," Colin reported.

In the same trip, Kennedy and Kruk also climbed a new route on the south face of Aguja de L'S, among other ascents. With continued good weather in the forecast, the duo may stay in the mountains, postponing their celebrations in favor of more climbing. Keep your eyes on NewsWire for a follow-up report.

Full Disclosure: Hayden Kennedy is the son of Alpinist's Editor-in-Chief Michael Kennedy. —Ed.

Here at Alpinist, our small editorial staff works hard to create in-depth stories that are thoughtfully edited, thoroughly fact-checked and beautifully designed. Please consider supporting our efforts by subscribing.


Hey Giorgio,

Thanks for the link! I didn't see anyone drilling a massive A1 bolt ladder up a mountain and then leaving all their garbage behind and calling it a work of art- you're correct that's great style there!

Still crying over a pile of iron and your frustration with having to actually be able to *climb* to get up Cerro Torre?

Nice nationalistic bs too, you should get over your self-hatred, your country is actually pretty cool.

2014-01-20 16:06:05
Giorgio Riccardi

That an arrogant kid from usa would do such a thing is not really surprising; I'm bit disappointed that a Canadian followed his stupidity. We are not like them!

btw if those to guys want to know the meaning of "by fair means" they should take a look at this video were true mountaineers show respect:

2014-01-20 12:41:11
Andre the climber

My opinion:

Were Maestri's bolts appropriate? No!

Should someone have taken them out eventually? Yes!

Could that have been done without consent of the LOCAL climbing community? Absolutely not!

Very simple.

2012-02-07 22:19:27
Christine Kopp

The only excuse I could take in consideration for you, Jason and Hayden, is that you are young and don't ponder your actions. But as you should be used to ponder decisions, as excellent alpinists, even this excuse doesn't work. In my opinion, you behaved with an unbelievable arrogance. I know Maestri, I know the story - one can think about Maestri whatever he wants, but you guys seem to have no idea about the value of his route done in far 1970 (I guess you have no idea what this means as you don't consider history anyway and were far by be born). Which takes the cake is that the route you destroyed afterwards, permitted you first to do your lifetime's climb - and you go proud with it. At least for this, you should feel obliged to thank Cesare and his companions of the climb! You should be condamned to crawl on your knees to see Maestri in Madonna di Campiglio and ask him to forgive you and then go back to the Torre and put back the route in exactly the state you found it - the only thing which could save you is that Maestri himself wanted to destroy the route in 1970, but probably you don't know the whole story of that climb anyway. Shame on you.

2012-02-07 18:00:55

Centro Andino El Chalten El Chalten 26 de enero 2012 Declaración:

El centro Andino El Chalten por la presente declara personas no gratas a los señores Hayden Kennedy (U.S.) y Jason Kruk (Canadá). Motiva esta declaración el hecho ocurrido en enero de 2012 donde retiraron parte del equipamiento fijo original y destruyeron parcialmente la via del “Compresor” al Cerro Torreabierta en el año 1970 por el grupo liderado por Cesare Maestri. Consideramos intolerante este acto de vandalismo y prepotente que altera de manera permanente el patrimonio histórico que ha heredado el pueblo de El Chalten, haciendo caso omiso de la voluntad de la comunidad local, expresada en la reunión efectuada en febrero del 2007.

Copio fragmentos del código de ética UIAA

4. Visiting Foreign Countries When we are guests in foreign countries, we should always conduct ourselves politely and with restraint. We should show consideration to the local people and their culture – they are our hosts. We should respect local climbing ethics and style and never drill holes or place bolts where there is a traditional ethic against it or where no locally established ethics exists. We will respect holy mountains and other sacred places and always look for ways to benefit and assist local economies and people. An understanding of foreign cultures is part of a complete climbing experience.

2012-01-28 20:28:12

To me its appears to be an arrogant decision. That chopping an iconic route that has high traffic allows for little creative freedom in how we make our experience in the mtns meaningful and personal for each of us. This is like a dictatorship approach to climbing styles, not what the mtns mean to me in any way. It seems there should be different ways to get high in the mtns, so it can bring value to more than just one style, philosophy of climber...

2012-01-28 16:50:37

Thetortoise: you seem awfully upset over some pieces of metal. Also, if your partner who hauls you up climbs is as world-class as you claim, he won't have any problem placing some new bolts.

Most of the people complaining about this sound really lazy and lacking in basic skills (the ability to place gear or hand-drill bolts on lead).

2012-01-26 22:25:40

To look at an established route and decide that it is you who has the final determination as to what is fairly bolted (you admit to leaving a few and using some) and thereby justifies your desecration of the route... what a frigging juvenile, egocentric way of thinking. Someone above said it best when they intoned that many lesser climbers will be denied the climb by your moronic move. And yes, I might be one of those.. I have a Central Nervous Disorder that causes me to indeed use a bolt or more on some climbs. I can hardly reach the approach sometimes when the nerves in my feet become so inflamed that the bottom of my feet turn beet red. My partner who is world class capable climbs with me and allows me his patience and guidance to understand my nuance. He has literally pulled me through a crux or two just to allow me the feeling of independence hanging from a slab of rock brings. I will not congratulate you on your climb, I will not read another blog if either of your names are integrated, and I hope that at some point in your young stupid lives that something might afflict you in such a way as to have to suffer the humility of not having the physical arsenal of youth to rely on and that you must utilize a passage blazed before your attempt.... oh I forgot, you did use and leave the bolts that YOU thought necessary and used them instead of keeping it CLEAN ALL THE WAY! You know, I take it back. I couldn't wish my sort of decease on anyone. I just have to remember that your just a couple of dumb-ass's with the misconception that you know best.. well you don't. Stop trying to glorify a hypocritical act..... I just can't get over the fact that you used some bolts and felt that you had the right to decide which stayed and what to chop. A couple of morons for sure...

2012-01-26 21:41:05

maxchalten and Madsenita: stop whining you little babies. Neither of you own Cerro Torre.

And Madsenita, Ian Parnell has probably climbed 1000 routes of all different types harder than anything you will get up in your life.

2012-01-26 09:46:37


"hey, let's chop this bolts up and see if anyone can follow this route, hahaha....!"


2012-01-26 04:32:39


For those who climb in UK might think that you “invent” clean climbing, hence why you agree with this action… I appreciate you climbing CV, but here you have no dice!

Pls, keep climbing in short, uninterested UK climbing routes….

2012-01-26 04:15:21


I totally agree with you in all that you are saying and thinking; our country in much more than “fair” and relaxed with some of its policy. I should think that these guys (plus those who DID climb Torre and agree with this climb) would not be able to return to their normal climbing life afterwards… For those who have been up there, or have the great luck of at least climb a few portions of any of the Torre’s routes, might know what is like to be surrounded by this amazing place. Surely this must be taken as an atrocity that any climber could have commit in any climbing route. CREATE, DO NOT DESTROY, what was done is done and please don’t think you are doing any better when acting like these “climbers” did…

The “pueblo” must rise its voice and stop in any form this kind of behaviour. At the end, mountains do not belong to us, not even our life…

2012-01-26 04:10:44

The following is the translation of a letter writen by a local from Chalten:

In response to the interview done to Hayden Kennedy, Jason Kruk, Colin Haley, and Trolando Garibotti in the local online newspaper of El Chalten, An act of this magnitude does not have any type of defense, also I believe that they used arguments that are totally absurd and without foundation to justify themselves. IT IS NOT IN ARGENTINA where you are required to have a visa, green card, a EU passport, letter of invitation from some relative, credit card or cash, work contract or permit to be able to enter, this happens in countries like Australia, Canada, United States, Spain, “where you would probably be well received”, that is if you can get in. Besides, two persons such as yourselves, that have been well received in this town since the day you arrived, where many young people look up to you, it was not necessary to commit this aggression to the community of El Chalten saying they have no right to have an opinion because “they don´t go to the mountains”, it just so happens that these people cultivate a lot of respect for the mountains; or that the reaction in defense of the act “caused surprise” or “grazes discrimination” (DISCRIMINATE: to see or make a difference between things or people, to unfairly treat one person or group worse or better than others). Besides being surprised that you would defend yourself of an act of vandalism (VANDALISM: Intentional and needless damage or destruction, esp. of public buildings and other public property) like the one committed to the compressor route acting like victims, it leaves me no doubt that you are arrogant and have no respect for others. It is of no use that you wonder around town with satisfactory smiles, as if you have saved someone’s life. You should be ashamed of yourselves. I also ask: What would happen if someone were to paint with spray paint the Giaconda because they don´t like her smile? What would happen if a tourist arrived in El Chalten and saw something they didn’t like and just eliminated it? What would happen to an Argentine if he were to remove bolts placed over 40 years ago on a major wall in the USA??????? I believe it would be better to preach examples of respect to the new generations rather than give them examples of arrogance and incoherence. To live coherently means to act as we talk, talk as we think and think with common sense and with the heart if we want to be romantic, believe it is worth it. What I mean is it is useless to pull out bolts with one hand and throw empty gas canisters off the summit with the other. They should set aside the utopias because even though they believe “the mountains are everybody’s”, I´m sorry to say these are ARGENTINE. Don´t be mistaken, being well received is not the same as considered locals. Lastly, before talking about humility you must practice it.

2012-01-25 22:57:01

la stupidità umana non raggiunge mai i limiti

2012-01-23 23:50:39

I am impressed with both Hayden and Jason's clean ascent as well as what appears to be the first free ascent of the route, but can think of a thousand better ways for two climbers to express their commitment to alpinism.

For example, how about not repeating one of the most popular routes in Patagonia; rather pushing a new line in good style as did Nate Opp and crew on the first ascent of the Wave Effect? Even better, why not find a more remote venue and push a new line in great style, demonstrating the potential of alpinism and alpinists as opposed to the potential of alpinists to create drama that is only interesting in the context of competing ideas about ethics in the most popular venue for alpinism outside of the trodden walls of Europe?

American climbers choosing to make a statement based on their own personal ethics regardless of the history and agreement of locals in Argentina seems both culturally and historically disrespectful (despite the stupid and ethically questionable placement of the original bolts).

Two wrongs don't necessarily make a right.

2012-01-23 08:54:43

charity begins at home , the great climbers of america first rewrite their own climbing history ,then change other's . there are so many routes in us needs fair means ascent. as many knows the free ascent of the nose is only possible by jardine traverse which he chipped .and the nose has lots of bolt ladders also.the nose awaits a fair means ascent , but the climb is still a milestone in modern climbing history

2012-01-23 00:19:09

For the lazy, in 2007 it was voted, in Chalten, the following:

- No to bolt ladders on any mountain as from now. - Yes to the search for common solutions. - No to any kind of dominance, in ideas or actions. - Yes to accepting history as part of our culture.

"Dominance in ideas or actions" is a powerful phrase. I wonder if David Lama is aware of this as well.

I hope the young guns don't have regrets, but its hard for brains the outmatch the balls you've got in your early twenties.

2012-01-22 21:56:28
Tomaz Jakofcic

They used five bolts and the anchors. If you screw your wife's best friend once or ten times doesn't change the fact that you are a sinner.

What is the status of all the other route which finished by the Maestri bolt ladder. Are routes like Devils Direttisima or Quinque Anni just good attempts now?

They shouldn't do that!

2012-01-22 16:38:54

A previous democratic decision counts more than one thousands words

2012-01-22 10:46:04

Sure thing Ian! I've no doubt we'll hear all about your opinion in one of the many douche-rags you write for.

2012-01-22 01:21:38

Some people here are acting like they took a way a part of the mountain itself, such as if they chipped holds for their ascent or something. All they did was remove a bunch of fixed gear that happened to have been placed in drilled holds. If those pitons were in cracks, they'd be "booty" just like any fixed nut or stuck cam. Why should being in drill holes make them off-limits for removal?

2012-01-21 20:47:12

How anyone can support such a decition? What about respect? Our culture, history? You should know that anyone that lives in Chalten agrees with this decition. That a meeting took place 3 years ago, and we decided that the bolts were a part of our history, and they were not to be removed. This two boys came here and decided to take the bolts, claiming purity, not only not repecting the decition, but leaving all the traverse bolts, plus the rappel ones. So? what good had they done? purity my ass, they wanted the glory, and they dont diserve it. Two stupid kids that think beacuse they are good climbers they can decide alone the future of a mountain. Its not to anyone to decide. Me, as an argentinean, even if the mountain belongs to everyone, think that. Have to say, that when I went to yosemite, i didnt feel el cap belonging to the world, i had to fly 20 days earlier to buenos aires to get my visa, without knowing I was going to get it, had to be interrogated in inmigration, and kicked out after a week... so tell me... how do you think we should feel as argentineans, when this two kidds make such a decition in our country. I live in Chalten beacuse I love this mountiains, and i´ve welcome every climber like a friend, even this guys. that means that they think they can do whatever? Do this in yosemite? or in europe? Via ferrata? No, they did this here, cause they know there is no concecuence. Well, we will see....

2012-01-21 19:02:06
Ian Parnell

EricW - from where I'm sitting Kennedy and Kruk's 'little souls' are shining way brighter than your web-bile. Us old farts can fill the internet with as many accusations as we want but the young are out there creating history. All hail to them I say.

2012-01-21 16:41:29

aidclimbing to the summit and chopping on rappel, while hanging off of some of the bolts you chop - not exactly great style if you ask me.

2012-01-21 12:52:07

If you piz on a tree do you own it?

This is the ridiculous spine of climbing culture. That the first person to do climb a piece of stone "owns" it.

There are instances where 5.12 climbers have developed small crags in parts of the country with scant rock and didn’t feel a need to bolt 5.10 sections. This lead to run-out climbs at best and inaccessible rock for most.

But that is our culture.

If the 1st ascentist allows others to add more bolts to “their” piece of stone than as a culture we also find this acceptable.

By the same line of logic if a 1st ascentist approves the removal of bolts on “their” piece of stone as a culture we should also accept it.

Maestri clearly stated he wanted the bolts removed.

So why the fuzz?

Edit-I know our culture of the 1st ascent maybe considered stupid and short-sighted, but as my mom says, “He is my son.”

2012-01-21 04:44:17

I fail to see how the bolt chopping on Cerro Torre can be bad. I also fail to see why some call it an act of American arrogance. I also fail to understand why some argue this opens the can of warms an that the Nose should be next in line to be chopped. Frankly its hard to understand why any one is pissed. Clean mountains muts be a good thing in my book.

2012-01-21 03:32:29

Certainly a proud ascent. I'm disappointed to see that after they achieved something great that they then immediately turned around and desecrated history, and effectively destroyed a historical record.

I'm confused about how you think you have the right to make decisions on behalf of the entire, worldwide, climbing community just because you climbed a new route.

The mountains are places that epitomize freedom. With freedom comes the responsibility of self-reliance and respect for others. "Unilateral" actions like the ones that Kennedy and Kruk took are the very reason that our freedoms are in jeopardy in the real world. Because a few people, thinking that they're better than everyone else, also believe that they have the right to tell others how to behave. Welcome to the mindset that starts wars.

Even more shocking, is that they call it "fair means" while using bolts on the Compressor Route and bolts that other's placed before them. Did you use any beta from other people that utilized those bolts?

Because you can climb a mountain in better style than someone could fifty years before you only means that you were born 50 years later. You have benefited greatly from the work of generations before you. That you have destroyed part of the historical record from that generation is a loss to the entire community, whether or not you agree with their actions. For example, that we have a fine democratic government today wouldn't justify destroying relics from the original british empire. The historical record is valuable to alpinism as well.

Congratulations on your fine ascent. I am bummed about your chosen style for descent.

2012-01-21 02:50:54

What the glad-handing industry robots fail to gather is that you can't rewrite history. No amount of bolt chopping can change that. If they wern't trying to do so, then please, tell me what were their motivations? Leave No Trace? Ha. Don't pain yourself thinking on it too long.

If Hayden and Jason, bless their little souls, had chosen to climb their route and let their achievement stand on it's own merits then they would be rightly praised. Their route, and ALL those that aided in the completeion of this multi-year project, would be recognized by the stark contrast of their effort with the Maestri route.

Instead, they have added themselves as a big fat footnote in the continuing drama of deadly love triangle of Cesare Maestri/Rolondo Garabotti/Crag Torre. For that, I put the a large portion of the responsibility squarely on the shoulders of Rolo, who, unlike our post-pubescent lads, should know better. Maestri is obviously just an idiot.

Next time you have dirty work, at least have the huevos do it yourself.

2012-01-20 23:39:58

Maestri's "route" is botch job retro-bolt of the 1968 British attempt that doesn't even reach the summit. Not really any different (other than age/time elapsed) than if someone today bolted their way up the North Ridge of Latok I past the Lowes/Kennedy/Donini high point, didn't reach the summit, chopped some of their own bolts on the way down, and called it a success.

2012-01-20 22:54:57

This is sad. I only hope these guys have something very intelligent and logical to say.

If they found a cleaner way to the top that's great. If future parties will have chosen to use their route and leave Maestri's disaster to rust and decay on its own, then that would have spoken for itself. But that is a choice best left each climber in his moment. Leaving the disaster would have revealed Maestri's incredilbe egotism to generations of climbers to come and we could have continued to learn from it. Now we are left with a debate of ethics that on its face looks like a huge ego bandaid slapped on top of an ego scar that is encrusted in 50 years of debate. It is ugly, as are twisted bits of metal peaking out from a line of holes on an otherwise awe-inspiring granite face. We learn nothing by this.

New routes are the ultimate expression of our climbing philosophy. Taking down historic routes is the highest form of disrespect for not only the first ascensionist but the entire community to follow. Whatever else is going on on Cerro Torre these days, this act just makes it all worse.

I hope their new route is the bomb and at least they had a blast putting it up. They are sick climbers by all means. I hate that success can be so empowering for us. Take it down a notch boys.

2012-01-20 21:18:32

These guys should be ashamed about what they did. I truly don't give a damn about their climb, kudos to them for making the top. Their arrogance has even surpassed Wharton's attempt to chop the bolts.

That's all I am going to say, other than that, I am speechless.

2012-01-20 12:22:39

At 50 years old (the age of the Compressor Route) I started out in the Willians sit harness, EB shoes and no cams era, the era where chalk was ethically debated! I now own more cams then I can remember, Nomic ice tools, 6000m boots, a hand drill and a power drill. Climbing evolves, its equipment, its style, its ethics and the skills of its participants.

The Compressor Route is a historic ascent, as is the North Face of the Eiger, The Nose and The Dawn Wall, but are the bolts, pins, rope and tat left behind on climbs a testament to the achievement or a by-product of those achievements ? Are fixed ropes left behind so different then bolts and if a historic route was stripped of hundreds of metres of fixed rope instead of Maestri's bolts would the reaction be the same? So is a route a result of the passage of humans over the mountain's landscape or the bolts that are left behind. If we can now climb through that same landscape without the bolts, do we need to leave them, should we leave them? The acts of climbing the routes will always remain, but by removing the bolts do we not set in history the era of the Compressor Route? Do we require the bolts in place to celebrate that era and the accomplishment. The Berlin Wall was brought down overnight and its removal celebrated. Is it not the removal that resets the historic clock and allows us to see the past, the present and the future with a clearer vision.

The fact that I can no longer climb the Compressor Route is unimportant to me, my dreams and my ego. In order to climb Cerro Torre by 'the standard route', I now have to dream bigger, train harder, climb faster and commit even more. That is an exciting concept. The removal of the bolts means I now have to dedicate my self even more and commit more, not just to my climbing, but to the style in which I climb if I am to stand on top of Cerro Torre.

I know when I climb Cerro Torre I will look at the Compressor Route with awe, I will also walk away with a more profound sense of accomplishment for not having clipped those bolts. Did the bolts need to be removed for me to experience that ? Maybe, maybe not, but I bet if they were there and you could still climb the original bolts, my experience wouldn't be as powerful or as pure. So if the chopping of the bolts adds to a more pure and intense experience for climbers summitting Cerro Torre isn't that the direction the climbing experience has been going in the fifty years since the bolts were first placed, isn't that the evolution of our pursuit. The bolts would have eventually become unusable and the route impassable, so isn't the chopping of them just a more profound ending to an inevitable outcome, as well as a statement on where we have taken the purity of climbing and the direction we should embrace and celebrate ?

The scars of war heal as we rebuild and we remember with history and monuments. A lone compressor hanging from the Compressor Route would, perhaps, be a fitting testament and monument to Maestri's ascent. Would not the removal of the aid climbing bolts be a fitting tribute to fifty years of trying to climb the mountain in a style more fitting Cerro Torre's character and a testament to where we have all taken climbing since then?

... and in the end, what would the Dali Lama say ??? Peace, acceptance and introspection all ....

2012-01-20 06:35:04


Disapproval noted.


2012-01-20 04:21:14

Eric the old alpinist under CB did do a news item purely because it involved the owner-can ya blame him?

I'm crumbgruden, a famous pooh-pooher, and an allround jerk, but to claim Hayden gets press because of who his daddy is, is well stupid at best.

Read Hayden's story about his "success" while failing on north twin and you'll agree the kid is alright. Not only does he climb hard, he writes well with a broad understanding of the human condition and that impresses me (personally).

Carry on (Eric W I am in general agreement with the rest of your rant, or at least in agreement that a rant is in order)

2012-01-20 03:35:13


aka "Rolo and his history revising minions finally get their way"

What a joke. Did they take a bouldering pad and some spotters as well. When does the SICK Vimeo vid come out complete with dope beats that DJ Krukalicious personally mixed on his iPhone while he was belaying?

Since when does climbing a route with enough gear to pull several dozens of bolts make it committing?...or, for that matter, enough bolts so that bailing at any point is feasible? "They used several of Maestri's Anchors"(as a sidenote by the way, well played Ed.)...does that mean on the descent as well? The more we learn of this so called "Fair Means" ascent, the more it will be shown to be what it is...naked ego. The feather in the cap of those driven by greed. I'm sure the hype around this abomination will help you guys move some magazines. This is a continuation in the never-ending folly of Maestri. Thanks Rolo, you're doing a great job as the official Mayor/Historian of Patagonia(TM).

Did they remove the compressor as well? Will they rename the route "Rolo's Circle Jerk"? I don't see any pressing desire to remove the bolts on Royal Flush, Red Pillar, or Condorito, to name a few...why is that guys? Not flashy enough for you to put in the effort?

Its a simple equation for the so called "Elite" climbers... Position of Route in the popular conscious + Potential Fame - Effort Required for Ascent = $$$$$$ and the highly sought after Cerro Torre merit badge from Climbing Industry USA.

The Alpinist: Supporting unbridled nepotism since issue 26.

2012-01-20 03:25:54

Wow. Someone farts on supertopo and we a) assume it is a factual fart. b) care

impressive, no?

2012-01-20 02:21:24

This is amazing. I guess the controversy lives on, which, has become the character of this controversial route.

I thank Alex Honnold and other elite climbers for leaving the bolts and pendulum lines in place, after they free solo the routes that weekend climbers like can barely get up.

2012-01-19 23:58:57

The ascent was a step forward for alpinism and I applaud it.

Chopping the old route, on the other hand, has done less to "advance the sport" or "return the mountain to it's original state" than it has in simply creating yet another controversy. It's merely a statement of one strong set of opinions and egos, that is matched by an equal and opposite set of strong opinions and egos.

The original route was a travesty to be sure- by far the most overbolted route in history. But even Salvaterra, and later Kruk, had to add five new bolts to make this new line go. It's ironic that the headwall is what got chopped, because it's the bolt ladders down lower that were the most ridiculous, where exceedingly obvious alternatives (and cracks) existed close by. I wonder what would have happened if Maestri had had the vision to take the Salvaterra line and then only installed bolt ladders on the headwall. In fact I'd wager that absent Maestri, any other subsequent party in the 70's, 80's, or 90's at least, would have bolted the headwall (like Bridwell, for example), and nobody would've complained. Perhaps later someone would've sussed out the headwall variation and it would now be called the "variation". I also think it's ironic that the existence of the Maestri route no doubt helped ease the discovery and development of the new line with it's fixed anchors and ease of acquiring new knowledge. And yet it still took 42 years for the route to get straightened out.

Part of me agrees that the erasing of the route makes for a more streamlined route choice and a better overall alpine experience- the knowledge of the bolts existence (or, is this case, not) no doubt will effect one's psychological makeup and decision making on route, no matter how one tries to avoid them. The "if you don't like them, don't clip them" line doesn't cut it. Further, especially down lower where a 6b/A2 alternative exists to the old bolt traverses, I don't think anybody is being denied anything. If you can't climb 6b/A2, you're screwed on the rest of the route anyway. The alpinist in me thinks this is only good that it's gone.

Yet I also question what sort of statement chopping the old line potentially makes for the future of other routes. What does this action say to the experiences of those who have climbed the route since it's inception? Even the much harder south and east face routes done by the Italians and Slovenians chose to finish on the bolt ladders up the headwall which are now gone. There are countless examples throughout the world of where a bolder and more visionary (and more modern) first ascensionist could have done more with less. Is this going to start a movement to "purify" the mountains? It's easy to glorify purity and boldness when one is already bold and oh so pure. Where is the line drawn? Part of me questions if it should have been left as an example, and allow the existence of the new line to shame parties into not climbing it.

But then there's the question of "litter"—-

I'm all for keeping the mountains clean and leaving no trace, but this whole personification of mountains and the 'desecration'/'consecration' thing sounds a bit pretentious and elitist. The mountains are inanimate. They don't care how many or how few protection bolts get added in climbing them. These are the dire concerns of purists and egomaniacs.

In the end the mountain hasn't changed much and it still offers a great challenge, and it's funny to see all this arguing over this route since the Ragni route is far more aesthetic and committing! And there's no bolts!

2012-01-19 23:07:07

I mean the fact that both climbed up the Compressor Route by "fair means". However, their deed during the descent is a total lack of respect to the alpine history of Cerro Torre.

2012-01-19 21:23:59

Whats up with those bolts on El Cap, like on the Nose, and Tangerine Trip and the NA Wall. Hayden and Kruk should go chops those , too. Despite the Compressor Route being a debacle, it was in fact a historical route. Lets ask all the folks that have climbed the Compressor in the past and savour their experiences on that route. A route that allowed them access to a place that now only "full-time climbers" that climb limitless on a mysterious source of money (i.e. momma and pappa) can achieve. I recall Greg Crouch washing childrens plastic play balls in grimey old fast food chains (from his book) just to get another chance at the Compressor.

Why on earth two young guys would do something like this is beyond me. Their egos must be writing checks that karma may someday cash.

2012-01-19 21:01:52

History is gone. Let's bulldoze Camp 4

2012-01-19 19:58:25

This is an homage to human arrogance adn hypocrisy. Who do they think they are to chop an historical line such as the compressor route, still using some of the bolts?

When would be the turn of other bolted mountain routes in the world?

2012-01-19 18:28:33

Holy s-@t that's amazing

2012-01-19 08:20:59

The feat of a life time was just pulled off in Patagonia by Hayden Kennedy and Jason Kruk when they bagged an ascent of Cerro Torres infamous Compressor route with out using any of the plus 300 bolts. In my view this feat is as much of a quantum leap as Reinhold Messners NO O2 of Everest.

2012-01-17 00:48:01

This is an hommage to trad climbing, cheers!

2012-01-16 20:36:43
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