Earlier this week the team of Hayden Kennedy and Jason Kruk chopped the historically significant and controversial Compressor Route on Cerro Torre leading some climbers to characterize the situation as the Kennedy-Kruk-Kontroversy. While few climbers believe that Cesare Maesti’s Compressor route embodies the current ideals for alpine climbing, most were reticent about erasing the route. The reaction in the climbing community is understandably divided. The anti-bolt fans whose position has been fuelled for years by Rolando Garibotti’s chopping campaign are positive, but others are concerned about the seemingly cavalier attitude of ignoring the historical significance of the climb and the results of a 2007 vote held in the nearby town of El Chalten that concluded the route should not be chopped.
Many have said that Kennedy and Kruk didn’t have the right to remove such a historically significant route without wider consultation – especially since many of the locals feel the route should stay. Some argue that Kennedy and Kruk have not climbed the full Compressor Route but rather a more logical variation where they used four bolts placed by other parties and one placed by Kruk last year during his attempt on the wall. Reports also suggest that the team used the bolted belays from Maestri’s route.
Reports also suggest that when Kennedy and Kruk got back to camp they were confronted by a group of local climbers demanding an explanation for their actions. During this time the police arrived, confiscated the chopped bolts and took Kennedy and Kruk to the police station to take a statement.
More details as they become available.