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Cerro Torre

I love mountains. I admire them. I am sure, God created them to treat and to comfort his own eyes, as well as ours. Cerro Torre is a mountain of extraordinary beauty. Perhaps I could call it the most beautiful mountain I have seen in all my travels. The pointed needle of Cerro Torre is rising at the altitude of 3128 meters above sea level. One can stand looking at it, glowing in the first sun rays, for hours on end. But we are not the only people attracted by this view. Dozens or hundreds of times have the bravest tried to conquer this peak which seems absolutely impregnable. The history of mountaineering keeps their names, including those who remained alone with the Mountain forever.

It is believed that the first ascent was made in 1959 by an Italian, Cesare Maestri, and his partner Toni Egger who died during the descent. Later, the second highest peak in the Trident was named after him. Egger's body was then found, but neither his camera nor the pictures confirming the ascent were discovered. Therefore, discussions about the first conquerors of Cerro Torre are still going on.

In 2015 Rolando Garibotti published his evidence that the information provided by Maestri about the route of the ascent doesn’t prove the possibility of conquering the peak by him and Egger. According to Ronaldo, Maestri and Egger were on the western section of Perfil de Indio but not on the highest peak, and that’s where Egger's remains were subsequently discovered.

Guided by his desire to silence the critics and the envious, Maestri returned to the peak 11 years later, (ATTENTION!!!) dragging a 60-kilogram compressor with him. With its help, Maestri hammered more than 400 hooks on the way up, turning the route from mortally dangerous to extremely difficult, but possible. Having reached the top of the peak, the climber did not dare or was unable to climb the last 30-feet icy ledge, as he told the astonished community himself.

The route was named "Compressor", and Maestri was again severely criticized by the mountaineering community for such an act. The audience divided into two: those who was thankful to him for the opportunity to take a safer route, and those who spoke of violating community ethics. Dozens of the brave have taken the route after Maestri. Many of the others have tried some more difficult routes, such as the western side, but most of these attempts have failed. Constant cold winds, ice shells with a negative slope, rockfalls and icefalls carefully protect the peak from the invasion of the bravest. During the history of mountaineering, the followers have succeeded on the two routes – Compressor and Ferrari.

In December, 2011 Hayden Kennedy and Jason Croock who had spent more than one season in Patagonia revealed themselves to the world. After a few quick and bright ascents to the other peaks of Fitz Roy, they turned their eyes to Cerro Torre. In January, 2012 the thunderbolt struck. On January, 15 they climbed half the route, reaching Col of Patience pass named so to counterstrike Maestri's Col of Conquest located on the northern side of the mountain. And on January, 16 in just 13 hours, they climbed up to the top of the peak, having used only five hooks none of which had been hammered by Maestri’s hand. Only two of Maestri’s hooks were used at the end of the climbing where setting up their own safety points would have taken too much time.

Strange as it might seem, it was not the ascent that brought them fame, but the descent during which Kennedy and Croock cut down 125 of Maestri’s hooks. In just one day Compressor Route was destroyed.

It was a narrow escape for the climbers from a massacre by residents and guides of El Chalten as for many years Compessor route had been feeding families of local guides.

Disputes about the legality of such an act are still going on. Some people have predicted the climbers to become outcasts, others said that they would remain legends forever, being the ones who had cleared the most beautiful mountain on the planet from dirt and from the indecent style of climbing.

So that’s a mountain with a complicated and dramatic history.

And I suggest that you should have a look at the most beautiful peak that I’ve ever seen in my life – Cerro Torre.

Enjoy the views, and thank you for reading this up to the end.

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