Cerro Torre

Cerro Torre (center) right then Torre Egger, Punta Herron, and Cerro Stand Hard

The Cerro Torre (Spanish: "Tower Mountain" ) is a 3,128 meters, according to other sources 3,133 meters high granite mountain, which is located in the Campo de Hielo Sur, at the Argentine- Chilean border, about 50 km north of the famous national park of Torres del Paine. The Cerro Torre is very difficult to climb because of its steep, smooth granite walls and the extremely adverse weather conditions and is therefore considered among climbers as one of the hardest and most beautiful peaks in the world.

Climbing history

First attempts

In 1952, the French mountain climber Lionel Terray and Guido Magnone climbed for the first time Fitz Roy and judged on the towering Cerro Torre in sight, this is an 'impossible mountain ". Nevertheless, a few years later climbers from Europe found an on Cerro Torre to attempt an ascent this may be the most difficult mountain in the world. The first summit attempts date back to 1958, when Walter Bonatti and Carlo Mauri reached a considerable height on the west side, but could not penetrate to the summit region. A simultaneously operating on the east side of the mountain expedition led by Bruno Detassis with the Trentino Cesare Maestri also had to give up to have undertaken without a serious attempt on the mountain. While Bonatti waived in the following year on a second attempt and the French mountaineer Jean Couzy died in an accident shortly before a planned expedition to Cerro Torre, Cesare Maestri returned for an attempt on the mountain.

Maestri and Egger 1959

The first ascent to finally be on January 30, 1959 Cesare Maestri and Toni Egger Tyrolean succeeded on the north wall. On the descent Egger was killed by an ice avalanche. As his camera, which allegedly contained the summit picture was lost, Maestri could not prove that he had actually reached the summit. From 1968, his descriptions of more and more mountaineers were called into question and the Cerro Torre sometimes still referred to as "impossible mountain".

Cesare Maestri moved despite many significant contradictions in the accounts of the expedition of 1959 and the absence of findings of the then allegedly left behind in the rock face equipment never depend on having first climbed Cerro Torre together with Toni Egger. Defenders and sympathizers Maestris repeatedly refer to the ice, with the 1959, the walls of Cerro Torre should have been covered and have the excellent ice climbers Egger, despite the lack of equipment allows even then the climb. Critics (eg Reinhold Messner ), however, lead to the arguments that the equipment ( esp. the ice axes ) and with the climbing skills of the 1950s, a rise over the extremely difficult steep walls was almost unthinkable that you have long cable - hook and remnants of the former ascent would need to find if this had actually occurred, and that Maestris controversial bolts ascent of Cerro Torre in 1970 on a completely different route the supposed first ascent in 1959 does not prove, but rather brochure new doubts.

Compressor Route 1970

Eleven years later, Maestri returned because of unbearable for him doubt and criticism from the public to the Cerro Torre to prove his skills. This time he tried to " hinaufzubohren " with the help of a compressor and about 300 bolts on the southwest flank, but failed because of the extremely adverse conditions of the Patagonian winter. A few months later he traveled a fourth time to Cerro Torre to complete his route. On 2 December 1970, he reached with two comrades the end of the rock wall below the summit, but decided not to climb the summit unstable snow fungus, which he already did not regard as the pinnacle ( Quote: " The one day blown away "). Maestri saw the mountain so as to boarded and inspected his honor as restored. For some critics, this attempt does not count as climbing, as Maestri was not on the highest point of the mountain and " climbed " only with the help of massive material usage is. The compressor still hangs a rope length below the Gipfeleispilzes, Maestris route is known today under the name "Compressor Route".

Recognized Ascension 1974

The first recognized ascent of Cerro Torre came by, led by Casimiro Ferrari Expedition 1974. After three weeks of bad weather phase, he stood with his comrades in a tent high up on the mountain, reached Ferrari, just before they had forced the previous running out food to descend, to the summit. The ascent is considered the first unambiguously documented summit ascent of Cerro Torre, because the Gipfeleispilz was mounted and a proof photo from the summit exists.

More recent climbing history

1977 succeeded in three Americans made ​​the first ascent of Cerro Torre in alpine style on the west side ( " Ferrari - Route"); 1979, "Compressor Route " was first repeated. In 1985, the first winter ascent by four Italians; in the same year led the Swiss Marco Pedrini the first solo ascent in twelve hours - both on the "Compressor Route". 1986 rose for the first time the Yugoslavs east wall, opened in 1988 Slovenes a route in the south wall. The " Maestri -Egger route" could be repeated for 46 years with the latest technical equipment of any roped successful. Participants from more than 20 expeditions that ventured an attempt reported by the absence of the allegedly set by Maestri steel hooks, which doubts about the summit success Maestris and Eggers further substantiated. On November 12 and November 13, 2005 Alessandro Beltrami, Ermanno Salvaterra and Rolando Garibotti could Cerro Torre climb on the north face and so " repeat " the Maestri -Egger route. They gave their route called El Arca de los Vientos and rated them with difficulty EX ABO. From 21 to January 24, 2008 Colin Haley and Rolando Garibotti managed the first complete exceeding the Torre Massif. The German Dorte Pietron by rose in December 2008 as the first woman west face of Cerro Torre and was the first German woman on the summit. The first ascent of the south-east wall along the "Compressor Route" According to their own statements " by fair means" succeeded on 16 January 2012, two North Americans, Hayden Kennedy and Jason Kruk. For climbing, the two climbers needed only 13 hours and use them according to own data set by only a few of the Maestri bolts. In addition to the magnificent alpine climbing performance attracted climbers in the Community, in particular be a great stir, because Kennedy and Kruk away on their descent much of the set by Maestri bolts out of the wall. The removal of the hooks and the resulting destruction of the historic "Compressor Route" has been discussed controversially in the world climbers forums and pushes beside numerous popular partly due to considerable criticism. On January 21, 2012, Austrian David Lama and Peter Ortner succeeded the first free ascent along the "Compressor Route". They needed for 24 hours.


In the film Scream of Stone of the German film director Werner Herzog is a mountain climber and a free climbers provide a competition to the summit of Cerro Torre, where Maestris controversial first ascent is taken up in the otherwise fictional plot.

The documentary Cerro Torre - Do not stand a chance (directed by Thomas Dirnhofer ) focuses on the free ascent of the mountain by David Lama and Peter Ortner on the Compressor Route in 2012 First, the history of the alleged ascent and the compressor Tour of. Maestri discussed. For language is the Cerro Torre veteran Jim Bridwell. Produced and distributed by the Red Bull film is dedicated to the extensive representation of the oriented boundary experiences mentality of the extreme climber. Theatrical release in Germany was the 13th of March 2014.


Cerro Torre glacier lagoon in winter

Cerro Torre

Pictures of Cerro Torre