Zack Smith on the Compressor Route


Maestri ruined the entire nature of this peak by installing over 400 bolts, often a foot-and-a-half apart and next to cracks, across illogical blank rock avoiding the natural line up the arete proper. He used a 300 pound machine to seek revenge on a mountain that had ruined his credibility as a climber. By doing so he brought an elite mountain down to the level of a tourist ride. I believe most of the bolts on the Compressor Route should be removed because it has ruined the natural course of history on the peak. We estimate that there have been fewer than a dozen ascents of this mountain that haven't used the compressor bolts. That's after over 50 years of concentrated efforts by some of the best alpinists in the world. As a society we have removed other mistakes, like the Berlin Wall. History doesn't stop. History is happening right now. Hopefully the bolts are history someday.