21 climbers summit Cerro Torre by West Face Route

by Dougald MacDonald Six teams climbed the upper west face of Cerro Torre in the first nine days of December, doubling the number of previous ascents. A total of 21 climbers summited the granite spire via the west face?the 1974 first-ascent route?or by a new variation that finished on the upper west face.During the same period in early December, only one team climbed the Compressor Route on Cerro Torre´s southeast ridge, following the controversial bolt ladders installed by Cesar Maestri in a 1970 attempt on the mountain. To Rolando Garibotti, a historian of Patagonian climbing, the many recent ascents of the all-natural west face mark a historic shift. In a summary quoted on Colin Haley´s blog, Garibotti wrote, ?It appears that the climbing community has finally come to understand that an ascent of the Compressor Route is not really an ascent of Cerro Torre. It is as if overnight everyone stopped climbing Everest with oxygen, fixed rope, and Sherpa support.? Read the full report by Dougald MacDonald at Climbing.com ( Source: Climbing magazine )