Friday, January 21, 2011

David Lama to Rap Bolt Cerro Torre

Here is some background:

http://www.alpinist.com/doc/web10s/newswire-david-lama-compressor-bolts
http://www.alpinist.com/doc/web10x/newswire-lama-speaks-compressor
http://www.alpinist.com/doc/web10f/newswire-flash-bolts-cut
http://kellycordes.wordpress.com/2010/06/25/cerro-torre-david-lama-and-red-bullshit/

This year Chris Geisler and I won the John Lauchlan memorial grant for an unconventional project.  We are in Argentine Patagonia at the moment with hopes of climbing the southeast ridge of Cerro Torre (also know as the Compressor Route) without utilizing any of Cesare Maestri's bolts.

Also planning on something similar are our friends Colin Haley and Zach Smith.  Naturally, there has been A LOT of talk about the SE ridge between us: comparing strategies, possible variations to the line, equipment, etc.  About a week ago David Lama and a crew of mountain guides and videographers arrived with intentions of resuming their project from last year - freeing the line of the Compressor Route, with Red Bull again the sponsor of the project.

The four of us as well as Rolo Garibotti have been in several dialogues with the Red Bull crew, hoping to gain some insight as to their intentions and the style in which they choose to attempt their project.  We wanted to let them know of our plans so that everyone can be accommodated on the route and to ensure that our experience wouldn't be impacted by their tactics.

It has come out today that Lama and crew plan to climb to the top of Cerro Torre following Maestri's bolt line, then rappel from the top and rappel-bolt the best line for free climbing.  Lama claims that this is the only way in which he will be able to complete the project within the next 5 years.  He also says he can take the shit storm that is sure to ensue.

I am upset, and I don't know what to do about it.

17 comments:

Anonymous said...

Push that fucker right in his face. twice.

Anonymous said...

Jason, can you post up your source for that allegation of rap bolting the free line.

-Munge

Anonymous said...

let him 'free' it and claim it in the mags while you peep his line with binocs from the bottom, then you FREE it and write a scathing letter in alpinist that brings everyone to tears about how much doper you are ?

Anonymous said...

Hey Jason,

I hope some of you will cut the RB's teams fixed lines and beat up some of the crew. Its what's called for given the circumstances. I bet lama won't be able to climb if he ends up with a broken arm. Desperate situations call for desperate measures.

Good luck with your climb. John Lauchlan would be proud!

Dustin said...

Kick his ass!! Throw their tents in the river and chop their ropes. The climbing community will appreciate this tremendously.

Anonymous said...

No way. Tell him to rise to the challenge and not make the mountain lower to his abilities. You guys should go first and bag it clean and free.
Threaten to climb an OW above him and shit on him...show him the vid, that'll scare him off.

Anonymous said...

It is interesting to note that the bolts they placed were for rappel. Why do the puritannists argue that an ugly heap of rotting cord through fixed pins, very visible to the naked eye, is better than an aesthetically pleasing, clean two-bolt anchor? Bolted rappel anchors keep the mountain in its pristine state and remove the need for heaps of garbage pitons and cord. The puritannists undermine their own argument, as conservatives often do.

Anonymous said...

It appears the situation is much worse then we thought. This is the one thing we didn't want to happen...

http://climbercoollist.blogspot.com/2011/01/cool-of-week-david-lama-strikes-again.html

Plaidman said...

I am working on a blog post at:
http://blog.oregonlive.com/climbing/index.html
I plan on using the title -
Heinous Act in Patagonia - Cerro Torre to be Rap Bolted

Anonymous said...

Maybe you should unlease that big crazy mountain ape of yours, Chris Geisler, to rampage throught the quiet streets of El Chalten on a dark and stormy night strangling all the Euros with a rusty funkness before stuffing a handful of rotten Squamish copperheads down their throats. Better yet just stick with your plan, let Lama stick to his, and accept that there's very little we get to control in this world.

ERL said...

I'd like to see the source for this post too.

andriy said...

Their arrogance is disheartening. To think you can fly in, hoist your big swollen middle finger at the local ethos and everything it stands for is unbelievable.

What to do? Represent all those that believe in the journey, not just the destination! Wish I was down there too!

Any monkey can climb... This is bullshit!

andriy said...

btw - best of luck down there!
Do Lauchlan proud!

Anonymous said...

If rap-bolting is the only way that he can do the route, then he should go find a different mountain and some
ethics as well.

Anonymous said...

Everything gets accepted one way or another. Unfortunately climbing is one aspect of life where conservatism has been particularly in not dying and becoming open and liberal.

ANTI-BOLTING ETHICS WILL NOT LAST.

Me said...

Dont know what to do? What can you do? Not much I guess since he flipped the middle one at you guys. Who is the authority on this matter? Is there even one? Are they in on this? Are they getting something in return for letting it happen? You tell me, you're there.
As for every hateful comment I can only say: Really?
A lot of the people I hear speaking for this are saying we shouldn't bring the mountains down to our level should remember why we climb them in the first place.
Should we abase ourself to so crude actions as desrcribed above? I feel the same way as you guys do, but I would never hurt or hinder anybody in the mountains. We all know it aint right...

Eric Hughes said...

Jason,
Looks like he changed his plans.
http://rockandice.com/news/1334-lama-has-abandoned-his-rap-bolting-plans-on-cerro-torre

Maybe the pressure of your words added to his decision to change his mind. I wrote to red bull asking them to rethink their sponsorship of poor ethics in the mountains. Good luck out there.
Eric