As written by ROCKandICE.comHayden and Jason pulled off a great FEAT this summer.
Colin Haley watched history made through a Canon G12 zoom lens from Norwegos as the young American climbers Hayden Kennedy and Jason Kruk “made the first fair-means ascent of the Southeast Ridge of Cerro Torre” in Patagonia. Haley, himself a leading American alpinist, posted the event on Facebook last evening with the heading, “BIG NEWS.”
Kruk, from Vancouver, and Kennedy, from Carbondale, Colorado, eschewed the Italian climber Caesar Maestri’s long-disputed plethora of bolts, drilled in 1970, during their ascent January 16. In recent years climbers have increasingly voiced objections to the presence of the “bolt ladder” on this forbidding peak, with more people now avoiding the bolts and focusing their efforts on the west face. Some climbers have tried to remove the bolts.
Greg Crouch, author of the classic mountaineering tome Enduring Patagonia(and the upcoming China’s Wings), posted, “People have been trying to accomplish this feat for DECADES, so it’s a tremendously significant ascent.”
Haley’s estimation (to be confirmed or altered when details emerge) was that the pair took about 13 hours to reach the top from a bivy at the shoulder, “which is amazingly fast considering the terrain. The speed with which they navigated virgin ground on the upper headwall is certainly testament to Hayden’s great skills on rock. Bravo!”
Among the many delighted plaudits soon posted, this comment by Kelly Cordes, alpinist and writer, may sum it up: “Absolutely awesome. Just awesome. Those guys are SO badass it blows my mind.”