Cerro Torre - South face
3. Cara Sur (South Face)
1200m 6b A4 75˚
Silvo Karo and Janez Jeglic (Slovenia), January 1988.
Description. An extremely difficult route. The lower 300 meters involve delicate mixed climbing, exposed to falling rock and ice. From that point on the route is vertical to overhanging for 500 meters, climbing a series of overhangs on rock that is far from being good. At the end of the overhangs a traverse to the left leads to easier ground (200m) and a big ice-field that is crossed rightwards (200m), to reach the SE ridge at the height of the ice towers. A total of 37 holes were drilled in the route, 16 for belays and 21 for progression.
History. Together with an impressive route on Baghirati 3, this was the high point of Jeglic and Karo’s ten-year long partnership. They worked on the route November and December of 1987, finishing in in late January 1988. In those three months they managed to put in 11 days of climbing, making 17 trips to the base of the route! They fixed 700 meters of rope and then committed themselves on a route that due to it's steepness wouldn't allow a retreat. In a frightening storm and with only one rope left they reached the SE ridge 200 meters below the summit from where they retreated. They climbed 45 pitches to that point. The name of the article about the climb that Karo published in Mountain magazine says it all: “Cerro Torre Crazy”.
It is unfortunate that these two incredible climbers lived their alpinistic prime in the shadows of one of their countryman’s grandiose alpine lies... Slavko Sveticic, who was with Karo and Jeglic on CT’s east face paid an even higher price, dying in a possible attempt to keep up with the high bar that those grandiose lies had set.
Italians Cesare and Vincenzo Ravaschietto, and Andrea Sarchi first attempted this line in 1986. They climbed 250 meters but were forced to give up after loosing all their equipment when their snowcave got buried under several meters of snow.
Since the first ascent there have been no attempts to repeat this route. Obvious proof of the sad, comfortable state of alpinism today.
Approach. Niponino to Glaciar Adela Superior.
Pro. Two Slovenes, two Polish or two Russians, plus a big wall rack...
Descent. Via the SE ridge or base-jump from the edge of the icefield...
Bibliography. Mountain magazine 125 p. 13; Mountain magazine 129 p. 18-23; AAJ 1989 p. 66-73; Alp magazine 37 p. 20-21; Annales GHM 1988 p. 32, p. 42; Planinski Vestnik 1988/3 p.97-101; Vertical magazine 16 p. 73; Vertical magazine 17 p. 80.