Cerro Torre is one of the mountains of the Southern Patagonian Ice Field in South America. It is located in a region which is disputed between Argentina and Chile,From Rodrigo Jordan, "Cerro Torre", in World Mountaineering, Audrey Salkeld, editor, Bulfinch Press, ISBN 0-8212-2502-2, p. 156: Cerro Torre rises "on the border between Chile and Argentina." However Chile and Argentina have long-standing border disputes. west of Cerro Chalten (also known as Fitz Roy). The peak is the highest in a four mountain chain: the other peaks are Torre Egger , Punta Herron, and Cerro Stanhardt. The top of the mountain often has a mushroom of rime ice, formed by the constant strong winds, increasing the difficulty of reaching the actual summit.
Cesare Maestri claimed in 1959 that he and Toni Egger had reached the summit and that Egger had been swept to his death by an avalanche while they were descending. Inconsistencies in Maestri's account, and the lack of bolts, pitons or fixed ropes on the route, has led most mountaineers to doubt Maestri's claim. In 2005, Ermanno Salvaterra, Rolando Garibotti and Alessandro Beltrami, after many attempts by world-class Alpinists, put up a confirmed route on the face that Maestri claimed to have climbed.
Maestri went back to climb again Cerro Torre in 1970 together with Ezio Alimonta, Daniele Angeli, Claudio Baldessarri, Carlo Claus e Pietro Vidi, trying a new route on the south-east face. With the aid of a gas-powered compressor drill, Maestri equipped 350 m of rock with bolts and got the end of the rocky part of the mountain, just below the ice mushroom. Alan Kearney, Mountaineering in Patagonia, The Mountaineers Books, 1993, ISBN 0-938567-30-6, ISBN 978-0-938567-30-1 - [*] Maestri claimed that "the mushroom is not part of the mountain" and did not continue to the summit. The compressor was left, tied to the last bolts, 100 m below the top. The route Maestri followed is now famous as the Compressor route and was climbed again and confirmed in 1979 by Jim Bridwell. climbing.com: Apocalyptic warrior Most parties on the route do not consider the ascent complete unless they climb the summit ice-rime mushroom to the highest point.
The first undisputed ascent was made by Daniele Chiappa, Mario Conti, Casimiro Ferrari, and Pino Negri in 1974.
In 1977, the first Alpine style ascent was completed by Dave Carman, John Bragg and Jay Wilson of the USA. They took a week to summit Cerro Torre, which had taken the Italian group two months to summit.
In January 2008, Rolando Garibotti and Colin Haley made the first complete traverse of the entire massif, climbing Aguja Standhardt, Punta Herron, Torre Egger and Cerro Torre together. They rate their route at Grade VI 5.11 A1 WI6 Mushroom Ice 6, with total vertical gain. This had been "one of the world's most iconic, unclimbed lines", first attempted by Ermanno Salvaterra.
2004 Five Years to Paradise (right center on East Face): Ermanno Salvaterra, Alessandro Beltrami, and Giacomo Rossetti (all from Italy).
In popular culture
Cerro Torre was featured in the 1991 film Scream of Stone, directed by Werner Herzog and starring Vittorio Mezzogiorno, Hans Kammerlander, and Donald Sutherland.
Jon Krakauer, in Into Thin Air, mentions the mountain as one of his earlier difficult ascents(1992): "I'd scaled a frightening, mile-high spike of vertical and overhanging granite called Cerro Torre; buffeted by hundred-knot winds, plastered with frangible atmospheric rime, it was once (though no longer) thought to be the world's hardest mountain".
Map of Cerro Torre
Cerro Torre on SummitPost.org
The Guardian (UK) article on Cesare Maestri and the controversy regarding the first ascent
IMDB article on "Scream of Stone", directed by Werner Herzog from an idea by Reinhold Messner
AAJ 2004 article "A Mountain Unveiled" in pdf format
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article Cerro Torre