TOM BALLARD: Cerro Torre I
Cerro Torre Reflections
The goal is to climb a new route on Cerro Torre. I am already here in wonderful (and windy) Patagonia, sussing out the approach and getting to know this incredible area better. My climbing partner Marcin is due to arrive in a weeks time (when the weather will almost undoubtedly break), and we will begin our assault. Well, actually first we will have to get ourselves and all our heavy equipment to the base of the Northwest face, no easy task.
The more I think about the climbing and the logistics the less I see our chances of success. But that’s Alpinism for you! The challenge is the goal, the summit an excuse. In many ways I am looking forward to some alpine suffering (not too much though).
Mincing about at the Ice Climbing World Cups and hanging around in cold caves is all very well and fun (depends on your idea of fun), but staggering about with heavy rucksacks, grovelling through soft/slushy/powdery snow, pushing yourself higher above your last piece of protection and ditching everything but your underpants for the summit bid is what Alpinism is all about!