Sunday, January 30, 2011


A couple days ago, on January 28th, David Lama posted on his blog that he will not rappel-bolt on Cerro Torre. It is written in German, but Doerte Pietron made a quick translation for me. The third paragraph, where he refers about his planned tactics, roughly reads:

"Unfortunately I couldn't take a look at the headwall yet, and therefore couldn't get any info about the rock, crack systems, possibilities to free climb... I hope we will get good conditions to get to the summit soon. Only then I will see if free climbing the headwall is even thinkable. I want to stay on the Compressor Route as much as possible, but I will refrain from equipping rappelling. If variations should be necessary I will have to equip them climbing up from the bottom; a time consuming task for the short Patagonian good weather windows."

Also, the guides from Lama's expedition have said that while they were climbing a few days ago on the lower portion of the Compressor Route, they did successfully remove the 7 remaining bolts that they had placed last year (for a total of 36).

So, Lama has now stated that his team will not fix any ropes, that they will not place any bolts on the Compressor Route, and that if they place any bolts on new variations the bolts will be hand-drilled on lead. For most of us it is a great relief to hear this.

Without a doubt, Lama's reconsideration of his tactics was influenced by the many people who voiced their opinions against rappel-bolting. Thank you to everyone for speaking out, and thank you to David for listening.

With David's adjusted intentions, I wish him the best of luck on his project! May this hopefully be the last time I write about David's project on my blog, except perhaps to congratulate him for a successful free climb.

Lama's project, nonetheless, is daunting and difficult. Since Alex Huber spent time contemplating a free ascent of the Compressor Route, I asked him for his thoughts on the subject:

"I climbed the Compressor route in January 2002 in order to see how it could be climbed free. The mountain is fantastic, the line is stunning... so it seemed to be waiting for free climbing. After the ascent the enthusiasm was not the same anymore as there had been various reasons which didn´t make this project very attractive.

First there are the conditions... you have to wait to get the right conditions. You need much more than just fine weather, you need dry conditions as well. Then you need the motivated partner which is really a big problem on such a long-lasting project. And in the end, the quality of the granite is really poor on the headwall. Loose and rotten flakes not just as nice as you would expect. And there could be a big question mark on the end of the headwall. It looks like that the free climbable path on the
headwall leaves the bolt ladder some 30 meters below the compressor, leading up and left following a series of thin ramps. Then it looks like that these features run out, some ten meters of slightly overhanging, compact granite. Then easier terrain and soon the ice of the summit plateau. These ten meters of slightly overhanging, compact granite are crucial because, from the distance, the surface looks very brittle and I am not so sure that the thin features would be solid enough for a free climb.

In the end I could see that, for a great free climb, the mountain as well as the line would be perfect, but the climb itself not at all. Free climbing there would be much more for name and fame than for fun."

And one last reminder of why we care:

Thursday, January 27, 2011


After making my earlier blog post, most all of the climbers in El Chalten headed into the mountains in pursuit of a forecasted weather window. The weather window turned out worse than was forecasted, which was a relief for me because I've got a bit of a cold and wouldn't have been able to climb anything big anyways. Team Redbull climbed a short ways above the Col of Patience on the Compressor Route, and seemed to be doing a bunch of filming. Hopefully they managed to take out the rest of their bolts from last year that Rolo, Doerte and I weren't able to get. I'm sure that people got up to some good adventures, but not many climbers have come down from the mountains yet.

While most of the climbers here were up in the mountains, it seems the rest of the climbing world caught wind of Lama's intention to rappel-bolt the Compressor Route headwall, and the internet debates flamed up yet again. I've had a chance to read some of the internet forums on the subject, and there is certainly a lot of strong language both against Lama and in support of Lama. More than anything though, what I've seen is a lot of people posting on the subject who obviously have some misconceptions about Cerro Torre, about the Compressor Route, and about the controversy at hand. So, since I don't have time to get involved in every internet forum, I feel obligated to make a follow-up blog post clarifying some things. I'm sorry that I can't make it more concise, but if you plan to voice your opinion on the subject (on either side) please at least read all of it:


The debate about whether or not it is acceptable to rappel-bolt on Cerro Torre has very little to do with me. I personally would've greatly preferred to keep my name out of this controversy, but I felt the climbing world deserved to know what David Lama plans to do, and since I was the one who had a direct conversation with him, it was obviously my duty to bear the news. All that has unfolded on the internet since my blog post is others' reactions, not mine. I did not start the petition to have Lama's sponsors drop him, and have not even signed it. And I can only hope that all the people advocating to "kick David Lama's ass" aren't serious.


An important thing to keep in mind is that last season's controversy and the current controversy are very different in both nature and significance. What Team Redbull did on Cerro Torre last season (fix 700 meters of rope on a popular route, and place 34-36 bolts on an established route, next to existing anchors and perfect granite cracks) is recognized by virtually everyone as completely unacceptable. Even Team Redbull themselves have admitted that it was out of line. The bolts that have been chopped by Rolando Garibotti and crew are these ones, and Team Redbull has promise to chop the remaining ones that they placed last season. That Team Redbull has come around and changed their tactics from last year is something to be happy about!

While Team Redbull's actions last season were very obviously unethical, their proposed tactics this year are a much more nuanced issue. Last year's travesty was about disregard for the experience of other climbers, bolting next to cracks on an established route and leaving garbage - this year's controversy, on the other hand, is about climbing style. It is a much less black-and-white issue.


The controversy about David Lama's tactics this season is not about whether or not he will put more bolts in Cerro Torre - it's about how he might put them in. Some people feel that bolts have no place in the alpine world, and that in the face of unprotectable climbing one should either bail or completely run it out. While I don't share this exact sentiment, I do admire it. However, many alpine climbers, myself included, feel that the rare hand-drilled bolt, where no cracks can be found, in extreme terrain, is acceptable. As I wrote in my earlier blog post (but many people obviously missed), I think it is entirely reasonable for Lama to bring a bolt kit and hand drill a few bolts. If I were to attempt a natural line on the Compressor Route headwall ("natural" meaning a line connecting flakes, face holds and cracks, whereas Cesare Maestri chose to simply drill a bolt ladder up two pitches of completely blank rock), I would bring a small bolt kit also.

The controversy is about whether or not those hand-drilled bolts will be drilled while on lead, or while hanging from a rappel rope. There has never been any rappel-bolting on the peaks of the Fitz Roy massif in the past, so it is a new ethical debate here. The reason this has never been an issue in the past is because there are no truly "easy" routes to these summits. Unlike El Capitan, the Verdon Gorge, Medlicott Dome or the Black Canyon of the Gunnison, you can't simply walk up the "back side" and rappel in here. It would be extremely difficult for Team Redbull to rappel-bolt the Cerro Torre headwall if not for the obscene bolt-ladders of the Compressor Route.


Much of the internet debate I have seen makes comparisons to other climbing areas, asking "If rappel-bolting is OK at Rifle, why not Cerro Torre?" Most climbers agree that rappel-bolting is acceptable in some places to some extent and definitely unacceptable in other places. Without a doubt, there is a very large gray area in between. While I feel strongly that rappel-bolting on Cerro Torre is unacceptable, I wouldn't personally attempt to draw the line in the gray area.

However, I do feel the need to say that comparisons between Cerro Torre and crags are not particularly relevant. Cerro Torre is an enormous, extremely steep mountain, surrounded by glaciers and located in some of the world's harshest weather. The only thing that makes Cerro Torre remotely pedestrian are the obscene A0 bolt ladders that Maestri drilled into it, and without them it is one of the world's most difficult-to-reach summits. El Capitan, on the other hand, is a roadside bigwall, with hundreds of days per year of good climbing weather and a dirt trail to the top of it. El Capitan is to Cerro Torre what Rifle is to El Capitan.


Unfortunately, Jason Kruk posted on his blog that Zack Smith and I will also be heading up on the Southeast Ridge of Cerro Torre. I would've rather that not be posted, firstly because I prefer not to pre-spray about climbing I hope to do, and secondly because this is Patagonia - no one knows if they will even get a chance to make an attempt! However, many people saw Jason's blog post and assumed that Zack Smith and I will also be up there trying to free climb the Compressor Route.

First off, free-climbing the Compressor Route is not a goal of mine, and in fact I think it is a poorly-conceived goal. To free climb the Compressor Route, one would have to make two main deviations from the standard route (one is the established Salvaterra variation, and the other would be a possible variant line on the headwall). The Salvaterra Variation is covered in rime ice about 85% of the days of the year, and the possible variant on the headwall is covered in rime ice about 95% of the days of the year. Alex Huber, who is obviously a gifted big-wall free climber, contemplated free-climbing the Compressor Route. However, Alex has enough experience climbing in Patagonia that he realized the conditions and logistics to free-climb the Compressor Route are so difficult to overcome, that the compromised style necessary to accomplish it is not worth the goal. David Lama, on the other hand, came up with his plan before ever even laying his eyes upon the peaks of Patagonia, and obviously is comfortable compromising good climbing style. I think David Lama would be wise to switch objectives to something on Fitz Roy, such as Royal Flush or El Corazon, which are much more suitable for free climbing.

Basically, Cerro Torre is an incredible mountain, and the Southeast Ridge is a beautiful feature on this incredible mountain. To this day, the Southeast Ridge has never been climbed without the aid of a 500-pound, gasoline-powered air compressor and the 400-or-so bolts that it was used to place. My hope, and the hope of others, is to climb the Southeast Ridge without the aid of the Compressor and its trail of bolt ladders. Ironically, if David Lama carries through with his rappel-bolt plan, even a successful free ascent of the Southeast Ridge would have been aided by Maestri's 500-pound Compressor.


Many people have asked, "What is so horrible about rappel-bolting the headwall?" In truth, I don't think anything about it is horrible. I'm not angered by the idea. In the end, someone will establish an alternate variation to Maestri's bolt ladders on the Compressor Route headwall, and I don't think the number of bolts placed or their locations will differ drastically depending on if they are placed on lead or on rappel. Establishing an alternate, more natural, route on the headwall is an important step forward for the eventual removal of Maestri's obscene bolt ladders. So, in some sense, David Lama's rappel-bolting plans are a wrong step, but a step in the right direction.

However, I do think that rappel-bolting the Compressor Route headwall is sad and pathetic. Almost all of Cerro Torre's Southeast Ridge has already been climbed without the aid of the 500-pound Compressor - the headwall is the last piece of the puzzle. I think it would really be a shame if the last piece of this puzzle is "discovered" by rappel rather than by climbing. I think it is sad that this terrain might never witness the adventure of a first ascent. I think it is sad that no one might ever have the chance to head up this new terrain wondering when the next crack will appear. No one might ever experience the fear of "going for it" up scary face climbing and the rush of relief when he or she discovers a solid cam placement. It is sad to think that this terrain will be rappelled before it's ever been climbed - that on the first ascent of this terrain David Lama will already know how far it is to the next bolt, where he'll find a good rest, and where the next belay will be.

Also, David Lama plans to rappel-bolt the headwall during one weather window, and then go back to try and climb it during a later weather window. Given how infrequent good weather is in Patagonia, and given how infrequently the headwall is not covered in rime ice, even during good weather, there is a large possibility that months or seasons will pass before Lama can return to the headwall with intentions to climb it. A sad and very real possibility is that the alternate line on the headwall will end up, for some time, bolted but unclimbed. And where does this leave other potential first ascencionists? Is it not unfair to rob them of the possibility of a real adventure on this terrain if you haven't even climbed it?


I think it is important to keep in mind that Team Redbull has admitted their wrongs from last year and has changed their tactics. It is also important to keep in mind that David Lama hasn't done any rap-bolting on Cerro Torre yet. I barely know David Lama, but every time I've met him in person he has been cordial. My goal is not to defame David Lama. My hope is that the climbing community will express to David Lama an opinion about rap-bolting on Cerro Torre, and that it will cause him to reconsider his tactics. In an ideal world the personal attacks on Lama will cease and simultaneously he will decide, "OK, what the hell, I'll try to do it on lead."

Saturday, January 22, 2011


In 1959, Cesare Maestri attempted to climb Cerro Torre via it's North Face. At some point during the climb, descent, or descent of the glacier below the face, Maestri's climbing partner, Toni Egger, perished. Maestri claimed that they had made the first ascent of Cerro Torre, and the third member of the expedition, Cesarino Fava, either believed Maestri or agreed to lie in agreement with Maestri. Over time, more and more doubts began to surface as to whether Maestri had indeed climbed Cerro Torre. Today it is widely accepted that Maestri made the most famous lie in the history of climbing.

Angered by all the skepticism, Maestri returned to Cerro Torre in 1970. To "prove" that in 1959 he had made the greatest ascent of all time, by an extremely-difficult line on the North Face (that still has not succombed to many attempts over decades, by extremely talented climbers, such as Alexander Huber, Stefan Siegrist, Thomas Ulrich, Toni Ponholzer, Ermanno Salvaterra, etc) in semi-alpine style, he began sieging an easier line on the mountain (the Southeast Ridge) with the help of a large team, thousands of meters of fixed rope, and a gasoline-powered air compressor to drill bolts with ease. On the lower part of the ridge, Maestri refrained from bolting very much (after all, there are tons of perfect granite cracks), but as he gained elevation it seems he lost more and more reason. He began his siege during the winter, and where the ridge-line (which is the natural line, contains good cracks, and was climbed by Ermanno Salvaterra and Mauro Mabboni in 1999) was caked with rime-ice, he decided instead to bolt a traverse across a huge section of blank rock on the right (east) side of the ridge. Higher up, on the headwall, Maestri drilled pitch after pitch of bolt ladders despite many cracks, because the pitons had accidently been forgotten lower on the route. Strangely, Maestri never even attempted to reach Cerro Torre's summit, and instead descended from the highest rock on the headwall. He didn't even allow his climbing partners to join him at his highest belay station. While rappelling the last pitch that he had climbed, Maestri chopped a long section of his bolt ladder. This is now known as the "Bridwell Pitch," re-drilled with rivets by Jim Bridwell when he and Steve Brewer made the first complete ascent of the Compressor Route (and third ascent of Cerro Torre) in 1979.

Maestri's siege of Cerro Torre's Southeast Ridge shocked the climbing world. Although many routes in the Andes, the Himalaya and Alaska have been "dumbed down" by the use of siege tactics, Maestri's ascent was an unprecedented low in terms of style, and remains today the worst example of climbing style the world has ever seen. Although no one knows exactly how many bolts he drilled into one of the world's most beautiful mountains, estimates range from 350 to 450. It was this disaster which Reinhold Messner coined "the murder of the impossible." The Compressor Route remains the most over-bolted and controversial climbing route in the world today. It makes what would otherwise be one of the world's most difficult mountains to summit a fairly easy climb, with so many pitches of A0 bolt ladders.

Since then, there have been many, many ascents of the Compressor Route (which many people recognize as not a true ascent of Cerro Torre), and two films have been made on it. In 1985, Fulvio Mariani created a film called "Cumbre," which contained footage of Marco Pedrini making the first solo ascent of the Compressor Route. "Cumbre" was filmed in alpine style, with only Mariani and Pedrini involved. It is a beautiful climbing film, and well worth watching. In 1992, Werner Herzog filmed "Scream in Stone" on the flanks of Cerro Torre. His expedition sadly fixed ropes on all of the Compressor Route and the Ferrari Route, and left lots of garbage on the Torre Glacier. However, even his large-scale production (with Hollywood actors, crashed helicopters and all) only felt the need to put two bolts in Cerro Torre.

The 2009-2010 season in El Chalten was memorable for two reasons: exceptionally bad weather (even by Patagonian standards), and the assault on Cerro Torre made by David Lama's Redbull-sponsored expedition. David Lama came to El Chalten with the intent of free-climbing Cerro Torre's Southeast Ridge (the "Compressor Route"), and a large crew came along with him with the intent of filming David Lama's ascent. Unfortunately, the expedition acted without much foresight, and began fixing a string of ropes up the Southeast Ridge. Bad weather prevented them from fixing their ropes beyond Maestri's ninety-meter bolt traverse.

In February 2010 David Lama's expedition left Patagonia early, dismayed by the horrendous weather. They did not bother to remove any of the ropes that they had fixed approximately 700 meters up the Compressor Route. More than a month after leaving Patagonia, Redbull hired several Argentine guides, Horacio Graton, Simon Brun, and Juan Raselli, to go remove Redbull's fixed ropes for them. The Argentine guides succeeded in stripping most of the fixed ropes from the route (but were not able to remove all of them), but were not able to carry all of the detritus down from the route, and thus were forced to leave two haulbags full of equipment at the bergshrund.

Much worse, Graton, Brun and Raselli returned to El Chalten with reports that the David Lama / Redbull expedition had placed approximately 30 bolts on the Compressor Route above the Col of Patience. It soon came to light that the Redbull expedition had in fact used a gasoline-powered generator to recharge their power drills - talk about history repeating itself! As news spread, the climbing world was rightly outraged that the David Lama / Redbull expedition had added bolts to what is already the most over-bolted route in the world, and on terrain where not even Cesare Maestri had felt the need to place bolts.

One of the mountain guides that Redbull had hired to fix ropes, Heli Putz, claimed publicly that only 12 bolts had been placed, and that they had been placed off of the normal climbing route. Because the climbing season was already well over when Heli Putz made this claim, it was impossible to verify if it was true or not.

On November 14, 2010, Rolando Garibotti and Doerte Pietron climbed the Compressor Route, and on their way managed to remove 17 of the Redbull bolts above the Col of Patience (but missed 3 more, which they were not able to remove). They discovered that not only had Heli Putz publicly lied about the number of bolts placed, but he had also lied about their location, with all of the new bolts having been placed on the route, many immediately next to established belays and perfect cracks.

Photo 1: One of the Redbull bolts on the Compressor Route that was removed by Garibotti (photo by Rolando Garibotti).

Photo 2: More Redbull bolts on the Compressor Route (photo by Rolando Garibotti).

Photo 3: The same belay after the bolts were chopped by Garibotti (photo by Rolando Garibotti).

Photo 4: Another of the Redbull bolts above the Col of Patience (photo by Rolando Garibotti).

On January 9, 2011, Rolando Garibotti, Doerte Pietron and myself, Colin Haley, climbed on the lower slopes of the Compressor Route, and we removed 12 more bolts that Redbull had placed below the shoulder (but we weren't able to remove 2-4 more, which are still in place). In this area, Redbull had claimed that they had bolted an alternate rappel route away from the normal one, but again, all of the new bolts were in close vicinity to established natural anchors.

Photo 5: Some of the Redbull bolts below the Col of Patience, which were supposedly drilled on a separate line - yet are located a few meters from established natural rappel anchors (photo by Rolando Garibotti).

Photo 6: The same bolts after they were chopped by Garibotti (photo by Rolando Garibotti).

Photo 7: Some of the leftover garbage: One of Redbull's fixed ropes, now frozen into the snow above the bergshrund. In this vicinity we also found many red, nylon rope protectors strewn about ledges on the rock buttress above (photo by Colin Haley).


David Lama and his crew of mountain guides and film makers returned to El Chalten last week, and many of the climbers here were apprehensive of how his expedition would behave this season. Fortunately, they have learned somewhat from their recklessness last season, and this year they have promised that they will not fix any ropes on route (which is good, because besides the obvious fact that fixing ropes is an unimpressive way to climb, the fixed ropes ruin the experience of other climbers on this popular route). They also have promised not to bolt on the established route, and have promised to remove the remaining 5-7 bolts that they left on the route last season. Their plan now is to climb as five people: in front will be a team of three (two mountain guides and one cinematographer), and behind will be David and his climbing partner, Peter. This is a logical way for them to shoot footage of David Lama's efforts to free-climb the route, and an important step forward for them.


David Lama plans to bring a small bolt-kit with him, so that he has the option to hand-drill some bolts if necessary. If he adds bolts to the Salvaterra variation it would be totally out of line, as Salvaterra climbed the variation in 1999, and already placed all the necessary bolts (and Josh Wharton and Zack Smith climbed a variation to the variation in 2007, without adding any bolts). It is reasonable, however, that Lama is bringing the bolt kit, because on the headwall they will likely attempt a different line than the blank rock Maestri bolted, and the line they attempt will likely be terrain on which any climber would use bolts. What is not reasonable, however, is the way David Lama plans to use his bolt kit. In a conversation with me, Lama explained that they plan to reach the summit via the normal Compressor Route bolt ladders, and then rappel a separate line of weakness on the headwall, placing protection bolts on rappel. Yes, that's right - rap-bolting the Cerro Torre headwall! I tried to convince Lama that he might place the bolts on lead, hanging from hooks, but he insisted that rap-bolting was his intention. Zack Smith chimed in with, "You know that people will be very upset if you place your bolts on rappel, right?" Lama's response was "I can take it."

Before coming to Patagonia last season, Lama said in a Redbull interview, "Back in the days of old school mountaineering only conquering the peak was important - not so much how this goal was reached. To make it to the top, pitons and even ladders were used. Daniel and I want to make it without any sort of aid." It is ironic then that he doesn't feel capable of establishing the new terrain on lead, and instead plans to rap-bolt it. It is also ironic that Lama is only capable of rap-bolting Cerro Torre's headwall because of the A0 bolt ladders in place on the Compressor Route - To rap-bolt the headwall without the Compressor Route bolt ladders, Lama would have to first climb Cerro Torre by a difficult route or get dropped on the summit by helicopter. It is a shame that Lama lacks the confidence in his skills to attempt his project in clean, alpine style.

When I first heard that Lama's expedition had abandoned plans to fix ropes up the Compressor Route I was very pleased, and indeed even excited for their project. Sadly, these feelings disintegrated when I learned of Lama's plans to bring Cerro Torre down to his level by rap-bolting the headwall. I personally have nothing against rap-bolting at a sport-climbing crag, but I would've hoped that every climber in the world could see the difference between Cerro Torre and a sport crag. This ethical dilemma has nothing to do with differences between North American climbers and European climbers. The ground-up ethic is perhaps even stronger today in Europe than in North America, with many climbing areas strictly allowing only routes established on lead (famous examples being the Ratikon, or the South Face of the Marmolada).

So this, apparently, is the much-anticipated courage and vision of gym climbers applying their skills to the mountains.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Jardines Japoneses

The last several weeks delivered mostly all bad weather to the Chalten region. On one of a few slightly better days, Tommy Caldwell and I headed out to climb the Brenner Ridge on Aguja Guillaumet. Guillaumet is one of the smallest, most accessible of the spires here, but nonetheless it was fun to get out climbing in the mountains.

During the last week, however, there has been a bunch of dry weather. During the first half of this window it was still quite windy, and I teamed up on with fellow Washingtonians Mikey Schaefer and Jens Holsten to climb a new route on Mermoz that Mikey had scoped last year and they had attempted a couple weeks earlier in bad weather. Our route, "Jardines Japoneses," (650m AI4 M5 5.10 A1) climbs a very obvious ice and mixed gully on the east face of Mermoz, that joins the Argentine route on the north ridge, and follows the Argentine route to the summit. It had very enjoyable climbing, with all the good alpine ingredients: some ice climbing, some scrappy mixed climbing, some pendulums and makeshift aid climbing, and finally some rock climbing on excellent granite. I took my third-ever alpine lead fall when a snow mushroom I was standing on collapsed. I had fortunately just placed a good camalot, and the fall was down a clean slab. The route is a good addition to the range because it is climbable in conditions less-than-ideal for rock climbing (after you've climbed the Whillans on Poincenot, Amy on Guillaumet, Todo O Nada on Mocho and Exocet on Standhardt you start to run out of options for climbing in boots during mediocre weather). We made the ascent in one long day round-trip from Laguna de los Tres (Dec. 28), slowed down quite a bit on the descent by high winds.

During the later half of the recent good weather it was much calmer, and extremely warm. Lacking a good plan or partner, I hiked up the Torre Valley with vague soloing plans. At Niponino, however, an Italian friend, Andrea, asked if I would climb together, and we made last-minute plans to climb the Kearney-Harrington route on Aguja St. Exupery. We made the ascent in a long day round-trip from Niponino, losing a lot of time by accidentally climbing a scary six-pitch variation at the start called "Los Angelitos."

Tommy leading an excellent hands-to-fists pitch on the Brenner Ridge.

Tommy on the Brenner Ridge.

Tommy atop the rarely-climbed V1 boulder problem of Guillaumet's summit.

Mikey leading on the third pitch of Jardines Japoneses.

Colin leading a super-aesthetic, super-fun and super-easy AI3 chimney-runnel pitch on Jardines Japoneses. Photo by Mikey Schaefer.

The alpine trickery: Mikey making a lower-out from a pendulum point while Jens belays.

Jens and Mikey on Jardines Japoneses.

Colin doing some make-shift aid climbing a couple pitches below the junction with the Argentine route. Photo by Mikey Schaefer.

Jens leading excellent granite on the upper Argentine route.

Jens on the summit of Aguja Mermoz. Photo by Mikey Schaefer.

Colin rappelling in very windy conditions. Photo by Mikey Schaefer.

The line of Jardines Japoneses (650m AI4 M5 5.10 A1), to it's junction with the Argentine route, which is hidden behind the right skyline. Photo by Mikey Schaefer.

Colin making a pendulum on the not-recommended "Los Angelitos" variation to the Kearney-Harringon, on Aguja St. Exupery. Photo by Andrea.

Andrea is a pretty laid-back guy to climb with. Following an A1 corner of the original Buscaini route.

Colin on the upper part of the same corner system near the summit of Aguja St. Exupery. Photo by Andrea.