More Articles By bcclimbing

Jason Kruk & Hayden Kennedy climb the Compressor Route

by bcclimbing Wed, 25 Jan 2012 20:15:38 -0800

Last week Jason Kruk (Squamish) and his climbing partner Hayden Kennedy climbed the Compressor Route on Cerro Torre in Patagonia. They made a fast ascent traveling from the 'Col of Patience' to the top in 13 hours. They climbed the route by "fair means", excluded Maestri's bolt ladders. The last pitch was completed by penduluming over to a number of discontinuous features to the left.

Cerro Torre's disputed first ascent was accomplished in 1959 by Cesare Maestri. Eleven years after Maestri's alleged ascent, he returned with a air compressor to power his drill and establish the Compressor Route, an over-bolted climb up the face. This over-bolting of the face prompted legendary Slovene climber Silvo Karo to declare that "[the climb] was stolen from the future. Without all those bolts the history of that marvelous mountain would have been very different. I am convinced that in alpinism how you have climbed is more important than what you have climbed, and I have no doubt that the best are those that leave the least amount of stuff behind."

The Compressor Route has been plagued with controversy and it seems that controversy will continue. On their way down the route, Kruk and Kennedy chopped the bolts placed by Maestri. Reports say that when they arrived at the base they were confronted by local and were taken to the police station to give a statement. For there actions Kruk and Kennedy have received both praise and anger from a divided climbing community.

Jason Kruk has written a piece about their ascent on climbing.com

Colin Haley weighs in on the discussion of chopping the bolts.

Article by David Roberts and Kathryn Sall that appeared on National Geographic Adventure.

A blog post by Kelly Cordes of Patagonia.

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