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Second Free Ascent of Cerro Torre’s Southeast Ridge

Three Americans have made a team free ascent of the famous Southeast Ridge of Cerro Torre.

Andrew Rothner sent the crux on his second attempt. It’s important to note here that this was Rothner’s first alpine climb.

Josh Wharton followed the pitch on his first attempt and Mikey Shaefer on his second. The first free ascent was by David Lama in 2012 with partner Peter Ortner following.

A number of other ascents of the route went down last week. They all aided the Haston crack into the Lama/Ortner headwall variation. The 800-metre Filo Sureste clocks in at 5.11d A2 WI5 or free at 5.12b WI5.

In 2011, Canadians Jason Kruk and Chris Geisler attempted the climb the headwall without the bolts of the Compressor Route. They climbed the Smith/Wharton and Mabboni/Salvaterra routes to the headwall. They then added a new pitch that climbed the headwall left of the hanging compressor and reached a highpoint where they then retreated.

One year later, Kruk and Hayden Kennedy returned and made a big pendulum off a bolt placed on the 2011 attempt. They climbed a number of crack systems to the top of the wall. It took only 13 hours.

Their monumental climb was shadowed by Kruk and Kennedy’s removal of 120 bolts off the historic Compressor Route. Shortly after their ascent, David Lama made his all-free ascent of the headwall via a variation to Kruk and Kennedy’s line.

The third ascent of the route was in 2013 by Luka Krajnc and Tadej Kriselj, who followed Kruk and Kennedy’s line and finished on the Lama/Ortner headwall variation. There had been no second free ascent of the wall until this year.

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