Local climber Jason Kruk makes historic ascent of compressor

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Local climber Jason Kruk makes historic ascent of compressor

Post by squamish climber » Thu Jan 19, 2012 8:35 am

The news has been circulating for about 48 hours now and I've kind of been waiting for an update for confirmation and more detail. But the preliminary reports posted on Alpinist news wire are that Jason Kruk and American Hayden Kennedy made the first bolt-free ascent of the infamous Compressor Route on Cerro Torre in Patagonia.

Somebody commented on Alpinist that this ascent compares to Reinhold Messners NO O2 of Everest. Given what I read about the history of Cerro Torre, the wicked weather and notoriety of the F/A - I would agree.

Comments and updates would be appreciated.
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Re: Local climber Jason Kruk makes historic ascent of compre

Post by gnarnaphobe » Thu Jan 19, 2012 2:22 pm

Extremely Impressive; are you sure it was bolt free? The alpinist news wire calls it a "Fair means" accents; does that mean zero bolts; either way it is an incredible feat.

Congrats boys, take advantage of the good weather down there, I hear its a hot commodity 8)
Imaging how much funner this could be with booze and explosives

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Re: Local climber Jason Kruk makes historic ascent of compre

Post by squamish climber » Thu Jan 19, 2012 2:56 pm

Yes, I haven't come across "fair means" in climbing terminology until now. The bolt free reference comes from UK Climbing news, which sources the Alpinist news wire story.

I guess we'll have to wait to hear from Jason or Hayden for the details.
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Re: Local climber Jason Kruk makes historic ascent of compre

Post by psi4ce » Thu Jan 19, 2012 9:05 pm

Well, it's about freakin' time!!!

Haha just kidding, so awesome!!! :P

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Re: Local climber Jason Kruk makes historic ascent of compre

Post by slopr » Fri Jan 20, 2012 12:48 am

the Messner comparison is a little outrageous, good climbing however :P

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Re: Local climber Jason Kruk makes historic ascent of compre

Post by Dru » Fri Jan 20, 2012 9:00 am

The story is they used 5 bolts on the way up - placed by hand on lead by Chris Geisler last year off the route of the Meastri line on new ground..

And on the way down they chopped the Maestri bolt ladder.

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Re: Local climber Jason Kruk makes historic ascent of compre

Post by squamish climber » Fri Jan 20, 2012 9:08 am

Not only did Kruk and Kennedy make history, they also ignited a fire-storm of controversy by chopping much of the Compressor route, during their descent.

Alpinist News Wire posted an update early today. According to Patagonia expert and resident Rolando Garibotti, they climbed the south east face ridge of Cerro Torre in thirteen hours. Garibotti says they only clipped five bolts on the ascent (none of Maestri's, although they probably did use his bolts for belay anchors).

More info can be found at Supertopo.

So what do people think. Did Kruk and Kennedy do a good thing chopping the bolt ladder to the top?
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Re: Local climber Jason Kruk makes historic ascent of compre

Post by psi4ce » Fri Jan 20, 2012 3:37 pm

Why would they chop the bolt ladder?

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Re: Local climber Jason Kruk makes historic ascent of compre

Post by Dru » Fri Jan 20, 2012 4:08 pm

Um because it is considered a desecration of the mountain by many?

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Re: Local climber Jason Kruk makes historic ascent of compre

Post by psi4ce » Fri Jan 20, 2012 7:46 pm

Yeah I know, but it was already there. And in fact as I understand it, the bolt ladder got used by lots of people, in like, bad weather, and just as a way to get to the top of a notoriously difficult mountain.

You know, despite all the usual foaming-at-the-mouth, and stuff.

I'm totally not saying I support what Maestri did, but the Compressor Route is a part of history, and a legend of mountaineering.

I guess now the bar has been raised. Or... publicity stunt...? Actually, I really don't know.

But, I do think it's cool what they did down there.

Especially because I never have to free climb that sh*t if I don't want to. Bolt ladder or no bolt ladder. Because I'm not that good.

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Re: Local climber Jason Kruk makes historic ascent of compre

Post by Fre » Sat Jan 21, 2012 12:13 pm

Nice job guys!
I couldn't care less if you used 5 or maybe even 6 bolts
Similarly I'm not sure how historic this effort is, but I'll buy you beer when I bump into you anyways

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Re: Local climber Jason Kruk makes historic ascent of compre

Post by t-bone » Sat Jan 21, 2012 12:19 pm

Personally, I applaud Kruk and Kennedy for the ascent AND descent. I cannot find any argument that justifies the bolts continued existence.
-Local guides losing out on income? Most of the guiding money in that region is from hikes....and there are still plenty of easier climbing routes to guide
-The bolts were a part of climbing history? I really don't get this argument...if something was clearly wrong it should be erased/removed (did anyone whine when the Berlin ewall was torn down)?

Great job boys....hope your sponsors stick with you during the inenvitable firestorm.

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Re: Local climber Jason Kruk makes historic ascent of compre

Post by Brendan » Sat Jan 21, 2012 10:52 pm

Good for Jason for chopping that sh*t. I’m sure nobody in their right mind will bother fighting over this issue in any way but on the internet :roll:

History or not that bolt ladder was a disgrace.

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Re: Local climber Jason Kruk makes historic ascent of compre

Post by squamish climber » Mon Jan 23, 2012 11:08 am

There's some more allegations and unconfirmed news swirling on this controversy that my head is starting to spin. The latest as of (January 23rd, am) today:
- Jason Kruk and Hayden Kennedy did indeed remove 102 bolts off of the Compressor Route .
- They were questioned by the police, who then confiscated the bolts after "a group of forty people [who] went to lynch the Canadian climber Jason Kruk in the parlor of Miguel Burgos..."
- David Lama has successfully free climbed the Compressor Route.

Sources:
Alpinist newswire: Lama Frees Compressor, Bolts Confiscated
Planet Mountain: David Lama frees the Compressor route… while Kruk & Kennedy's bolt chopping is hotly debated

And if you know some Spanish, Kruk and Kennedy are interviewed by alpinist, Rolando Garibotti in the El Chaltén paper
- my Spanish is rusty and I don't quite trust Google translator, but from what I gather, Kruk and Kennedy made the decision to chop the bolts once they reached the summit. They were not expecting scale of the backlash and controversy but stand behind their personal decision to remove the bolts.

For a sense of the debate go to this thread on Supertopo

This photo from the El Chaltén newspaper. Apparently this is where Kruk and Kennedy were staying. Signs on the door say "Leave El Chaltén" in Spanish and "Go Home"
Image

Hang in there Jason and Hayden. Good luck in riding out this storm and stay safe.
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Re: Local climber Jason Kruk makes historic ascent of compre

Post by staven » Mon Jan 23, 2012 11:25 pm

While I agree the bolts were installed in the poorest of forms at the time, they were a part of the history and the route as it was, and was probably all anyone growing up there can remember. I could see it being a serious affront to someone with a love of the mountain, faults included, who perhaps wanted to climb the route in its original state, to be a part of that piece of history. No chance of that now, some hobos chopped 102 of the bolts and your dream is dead. But hey, your dream was stupid to begin with so suck it up - this is about Ethics! This is for serious!

In the sometimes overly strict ethics of our climbing community it was considered an abomination before god and all that is holy, but seriously! Who the f*ck cares? Were they really in the way? Was one of the hangers blocking a critical foot hold, and with them in place the route would never go free? Why not just skip them and let sleeping dogs lie? I'm sure a lot of people are stoked about it, but was it really their right to chop the bolts?

Maybe it was cold up there and they made a decision with frozen brain logic, but either way, I don't think it was necessary. The locals and anyone else who's pissed about it has every right to be, and I hope they climbed everything on their life list because I don't think they'll be welcome within a thousand miles of Cerro Torre for a long time.

Or maybe it will all blow over and they'll each get a bronze statue on the summit, beacons of purity all alpinists should aspire to become.

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