“Sit Start” to Cerro Torre

By Dougald MacDonald ,

As if Cerro Torre weren’t hard enough to climb already, the Slovenian duo of Andrej Grmovsek and Silvo Karo added a long, indirect start to the Compressor Route on the mountain. Carrying only their climbing gear, energy bars, and water, they started at dawn and climbed over the summits of Torre de la Media Luna and Torre Pereyra, passing several virgin towers en route. After 11 hours of climbing, they reached the Col de Conquest, the base of Cerro Torre’s standard Southeast Ridge (Compressor Route), in late afternoon, just as other climbers were returning from the summit. They started up again at 5 p.m. and climbed all night in icy conditions, reaching the summit of Cerro Torre at 10:30 a.m. in clear weather. In all, the Slovenian Start traversed around two miles of rock and ice climbing, gaining more than 5,500 vertical feet. The duo blazed this new route in just 28 hours of climbing. It was Karo’s second time on Cerro Torre’s summit. The two Slovenians also made the second ascent of the Italian route on the Southeast Face of Poincenot and repeated Claro di Luna on St. Exupery and the Anglo-American route on Aguja Rafael.

Photo courtesy of Andrej Grmovsek.

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