The top alpinist Rolando Garibotti has not only chopped many of the bolts placed on Cerro Torre by David Lama’s film crew this summer but also accuses Lama and his team of misrepresenting the number of bolts they placed and their location. Garibotti says, “I came across 20 ‘David Lama-Red Bull bolts’, as opposed to the 12 reported by Lama himself and the person responsible for placing them, the Austrian mountain guide Heli Putz.”
Garibotti only managed to chop 17 of the 20 bolts and claims that “all bolts were very much on the route, drilled in existing belays or in the middle of pitches, all in places where natural protection is readily available and where for more than 30 years climbers have climbed by.” This directly contradicts what Lama and the Austrian mountain guide Heli Putz had originally reported.
Garibotti then turned his attention and his bolt-chopping kit to the rappel line Putz bolted below the Col of Patience. Putz had said that the rappel followed and independent line, but Garibotti notes the descent stays on the “same buttress that the normal rappel line follows.” Garibotti says he saw “20 bolts, but likely there are more, in contrast to the 14 reported by Lama and Putz.” Bad weather prevented Garibotti from chopping these bolts.
During their retreat from the climb, Lama’s team left behind fixed lines and five haul bags on the route and hired local guides remove the abandoned gear. The guides removed most of the gear except for two haul bags, which were pulled from the wall by two climbers earlier this week.
More details here.