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Compressor Chopped?


Original Post
urschl · · Boulder, CO · Joined Jan 2012 · Points: 0

What do you think?

alpinist.com/doc/web12w/new…

Compressor Chopped - Kennedy Kruk Update

BREAKING NEWS

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.
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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.

RyanO · · sunshine · Joined Jun 2009 · Points: 145
Emmanuel wrote:an hommage to trad climbing
indeed..
David Cummings · · Grand Junction, CO · Joined Jul 2007 · Points: 190

I think that putting up a route like the compressor route today would be in bad form but it was a part of climbing history. I always wanted to go up there and do some via feratta to get to such a cool summit and I am sure many others have felt the same way. I wouldn't and go chop The Young and the Rackless in Boulder canyon even though I know it would go on gear just fine. Those 4 short pitches of sport climbing are fun and I am glad the route is there. I think that those guys down in Patagonia made an amazing ascent but I don't think the chopping of the bolts was necessary, even more so due to the fact that Cerro Torre is a feature that few people will attempt anyways due to the weather and location and skill needed to climb even the compressor route. Anyways, proud climb, get ready for this shit show of discussion about it.

Alex Swan · · West · Joined Dec 2011 · Points: 25

I agree with dave. I think that chopping the route was unnecessary.

-1 on the chopping +1 on the ascent

mountain-nut · · Morrison, CO · Joined Apr 2011 · Points: 0

All they did was massage their own egos. should the compressor route have existed, no. however, it made the route attainable for a lot of people that normally couldn't climb that level, like me, and i hoped that if i was able to travel to patagonia one day, i would be able to climb that route. probably not now.

i think that chopping bolts just because you can do the route with gear is poorer style than putting up the bolts in the first place

Ryan Palo · · Bend, oregon · Joined Aug 2006 · Points: 585

Would that route have been possible without those bolts in the first place? Loads of recon went into this and without those bolts there in the first place, this ascent might not be.

George Bell · · Boulder, CO · Joined Jan 2001 · Points: 5,030

I agree, they have started or continued a bolt war. I would guess others will replace the bolts on the Compressor Route, resulting in further rock damage.

Adam Brink · · on the road · Joined Mar 2001 · Points: 470

Good on those boys for starting the clean up of one of the greatest mountains on Earth. Maestri's bolt ladders were an ego filled attack on the mountain. By all accounts, he placed those bolts not to climb the mountain by fair means but to make a statement to the rest of the climbing community about what he could do.

Would our community allow someone to place a bolt ladder all the way up The Naked Edge? Of course not. Why then should it be allowed on possibly the most beautiful mountain in South America?

Adam Brink · · on the road · Joined Mar 2001 · Points: 470
Ryan Palo wrote:Would that route have been possible without those bolts in the first place? Loads of recon went into this and without those bolts there in the first place, this ascent might not be.
The route went at 5.11 A2. They didn't clip any of Maestri's bolts while climbing, only on a couple of belays. At that low of a grade there is no doubt that the route could have been done without Maestri or the endless line of bolts he put in.
David Appelhans · · Broomfield, CO · Joined Nov 2007 · Points: 410
johnL wrote:The FA is always the trickiest, now that they've crossed that barrier, many other far less experienced (but what n00bs are on Cerro Torre?) climbers will be getting up it just fine without the bolts. It'll be fine in the long run, it's A2 not A5, lets see how the next two years treat potential suitors before freaking the fuck out.
Exactly. It is 5.11 A2 now which is a relatively easy grade, it is not like they chopped the route after putting up a couple 5.14 R pitches or something. Good riddance to the ladder, it should not have been there.
Brendan N · · Salt Lake City, Utah · Joined Oct 2006 · Points: 375
adam brink wrote:They didn't clip any of Maestri's bolts while climbing, only on a couple of belays.
Doesn't multi-pitch climbing require belays?
Sam Lightner, Jr. · · Lander, WY · Joined Apr 2006 · Points: 2,371

Few points here:
To simply call it 5.11 A2, is to completely miss how hard it is/was. This route was NOT "relatively easy".
Adding bolts to the Naked Edge, after its been climbed without on the FA, is quite different.

Should Lynn chop the Nose Ladder, since she didn't use it? Can i go chop bolts on routes where I don't need those bolts. Have we reached a point where just because a few don't need it, no one should have it?

Maestri's route was selfish, but it has stood for 40+ years. Now that the standard is raised do we simply do away with any bolt that is beneath it... we might be pulling bolts out for a while.

Darren in Vegas · · Las Vegas, NV · Joined Feb 2006 · Points: 2,250

Is the compressor itself still up there? I think that is the thing that really needs to go.

s.price · · Pagosa Springs · Joined Dec 2010 · Points: 1,346

Brilliant ascent! Too bad they lowered themselves to destruction of history on the way down. Just because you don't agree with the fashion in which history was created does not mean it is o.k. to rewrite or destroy it.

Gary Dunn · · Baltimore · Joined Nov 2006 · Points: 35
s.price wrote:Brilliant ascent! Too bad they lowered themselves to destruction of history on the way down. Just because you don't agree with the fashion in which history was created does not mean it is o.k. to rewrite or destroy it.
+1
Ryan Palo · · Bend, oregon · Joined Aug 2006 · Points: 585

Im not saying anything about the difficulty of the route. Both Hayden and Kauk could easily free climb it. What Im eluding to is the effort to define the route. Without the compressor there would not have been a good method for discovering a "Fair Means" route. It would have taken much for trial and error and many more seasons of recon to discover that particular path.

I agree, bolts have their place, but erasing a part of history (albeit bad history)is not noble.

Adam Brink · · on the road · Joined Mar 2001 · Points: 470
s.price wrote:Brilliant ascent! Too bad they lowered themselves to destruction of history on the way down. Just because you don't agree with the fashion in which history was created does not mean it is o.k. to rewrite or destroy it.
Not all remnants of history should be left in place. Many first ascent parties have left trash on El Cap. Should the trash be left just because it is history? Obviously not.

Maestri's line was in total disregard for the ethics of mountaineering and alpinism. He put in bolts where they were not necessary and basically trashed the mountain (for god's sake, he left a compressor bolted to the mountain!). Unnecessary bolts and trash should be removed from the mountains. Kennedy and Kruk did just that. It doesn't matter if it is historical trash or not.
Ryan Palo · · Bend, oregon · Joined Aug 2006 · Points: 585

Im nowhere near articulate enough to tackle this mess.

Spraylord said it best....

"Spraylord
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!"

s.price · · Pagosa Springs · Joined Dec 2010 · Points: 1,346

Obviously trash is not historical and i am in no way defending the way maestri put up the route. But eliminating the route takes it away from anyone who had designs to try it and forces them to the new line, which i have every intention of trying.

vanishing spy · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jan 2009 · Points: 345

These guys are just looking for attention. Nobody would be talking about their ascent if they simply climbed the route and skipped a lot of the bolts. They chopped the bolts to bring attention to themselves and their minor accomplishment.

Eric D · · Gnarnia · Joined Nov 2006 · Points: 230
vanishing spy wrote:These guys are just looking for attention. Nobody would be talking about their ascent if they simply climbed the route and skipped a lot of the bolts. They chopped the bolts to bring attention to themselves and their minor accomplishment.

How do you know this to be true?
Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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