More on the Compressor Route

So I checked out of the net for a few days and scored classic surf with Mark and Susan Robsinson and Randy Leavitt “somewhere west of Goleta.” We talked a lot about the Compressor Route news about which I posted last week, and I return to find even more amazing and breaking news from Cerro Torre — David Lama apparently free-climbed the Compressor Route, there was a “lynch mob” in El Chalten angry over the bolt-chopping, and more than 500 posts were added to the Supertopo thread.

I’ve got to process and ponder all this. In the meantime, I’ll post some of my best photos taken on the Compressor Route.

Jim Donini climbing toward the Col of Patience, the beginning of our attempt on the Compressor Route with Stefan Hiermaier that failed on the Compressor itself
Me on the headwall close to the end of that attempt, just before Donini told Stefan: “Survival is not assured.”
Charlie Fowler low on the route, above the Col of Patience
Charlie jumaring
Charlie Fowler at the start of the Ice Towers
Charlie Fowler in the Ice Towers
The headwall
Charlie Fowler at sunrise, after our summit bivy
The summit mushroom at sunrise


  1. Greg, thank you for the beatufull pictures .
    Sorry but i need to said that you should write that also ¨apparently¨ was a lynch mob in El Chaltén.
    I post a picture in supertopo if you want to check the real situation.
    Thanks again and regards.

    David Albert

    1. David, I’m not quite clear what your comment implies… that there was a lynch mob in Chalten or that there wasn’t… perhaps you could clarify for us? Thanks, Greg

      1. Greg.
        There was not any kind of lynch mob, i send the picture to show the situation.
        Nobody touch Jason.
        In the picture he is holding a beer and is enough room around him as he talk, also a cameraman of Red Bull, recording everything.
        In his post he said that he was atacked by a patota, it is not true.

        You use the word ¨apparently¨ to refer to the ascent of David Lama but you do not use the same word to said that ¨there was¨ a lynch moab, that was the cause of my reply.
        Some people here are showing who they really are behind the masks and they also said what they really think of us, our deception is big.
        As a preety young comunity, in some way , this days were the end of our innocence.
        Sorry if I spoiled the atmosphere of the pictures and the previous comments.
        Best wishes.

        1. I’m glad you’ve been commenting, David. Please continue to do so. It’s excellent to have the voice of someone on the scene. Thanks, GC

  2. Love seeing those old pics of Charlie and the Compressor Route.
    Life sure is sad. I guess the only thing we can count on is change.
    Thanks Greg.

    1. I know… poor Charlie… think of all he’s missed this week alone.

      He and I sure had a big ride up there. We talked about it before he left on the expedition that killed him, both of us agreeing that we’d go to our graves seeing that sunrise. Didn’t think he’d be going so soon, however.

    1. Thanks for checking in Paul! Glad you like the pics… it certainly was an event, fumbling with those little film cans with cold, battered hands. It was always such an event, post expedition, to spill all your just developed lides across a light table — hoping like hell that you’d managed to do it all correctly…

  3. We met David Lama’s parents in Nepal on a trek. His father is a Sherpa and was ‘guiding’ his wife, David’s mother, who is Austrian. Great story as they met on a Trek 20+ years ago. It made us wonder if they intentionally bred a super climber by mixing a Sherpa and an Austrian. Just sayin’ is all.

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