|Last week the Italian Ragni di Lecco celebrated the 30th anniversary of the first ascent of the the emblem of Patagonian mountaineering, the West Face of Cerro Torre. The historic group spent three days comemorating the ascent, with talks including Walter Bonatti, Carlos E. Comesaña, Carlo Aldè, Danilo Valsecchi, Giuseppe (Det) Alippi, Dave Carman, Thomas Ulrich, and David Autheman. |
13 January 1974
Two parties, comprised of Mario Conti and Casimiro Ferrari and Daniele Chiappa and Pino Negri, reach the summit of Cerro Torre. This is the first time that the mythical, difficult and beautiful West Face has been breached. Their success crowns the efforts of the 12-man Italian Ragni della Grignetta expedition. The result is a great route: 57 pitches, almost all on ice, graded ED+, with some 85° ice sections and a crux of VI and A2. The route and summit closes a circle initiated by the Lecco Ragni: on 02/02/1958 Carlo Mauri and Walter who first reached Colle della Speranza (perched between Cerro Torre and Cordon Adela Nord), and then pushed their highpoint a further 120m. Another Ragni expedition, with expedition members Casimiro Ferrari and Piero Ravà, came to within 250m from the summit, which was then reached in 1974 by the aformentioned climbers.
The 2nd ascent was carried out in 1977 by the Americans John Brag, Dave Carman and Jay Wilson, the 3rd ascent in 1986 by Michael Bearzi and Eric Winkelmann, and the 4th ascent b Dan Cauthorn and John Krakauer, who declared "It's an exceptional route, superb, certainly one of the most remarkable mixed ice routes in the world."
Top: the Cerro Torre 1973-74 expedition: Casimiro Ferrari, Gigi Alippi, Pierlorenzo Acquistapace, Daniele Chiappa, Mario Conti, Claudio Corti, Giuseppe Lafranconi, Pino Negri, Ernesto Panzeri, Angelo Zoia, Mimmo Lanzetta, Sandro Liati. (ph archivie Ragni Lecco)