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South America, Argentina, Argentine Patagonia, Cerro Torre, East Face, Attempt

Cerro Torre, East Face, Attempt. A large Polish team (Artur Paszczak, Janusz Golab, Jacek Fluder, Stanislaw Piecuch and Zbignew Kroskiewicz) climbed 600 meters of a new route on Cerro Torre’s east face in January, 1996, but were unable to reach the summit. They also reported massive quantities of falling ice as each day the summit mushroom melted.

The most unique aspect of the Polish expedition was its finances. The attempt was sponsored by the Pepsi Corporation and each team member wore cloth patches on his clothing touting Pepsi Max, a Pepsi Co. beverage available in Poland. Part of the team’s sponsorship contract required that they rappel down the side of Warsaw’s tallest building, the 36-floor “Palac Kultury I Nauki” (Palace of Culture and Science) and hang Pepsi banners outside Coca Cola’s 15th floor offices, which are in the building. The climbers were, of course, offered cans of Coke out the window, but remained true to their sponsorship requirements and refused the beverages. The event was taped for Polish television news programs and appeared throughout Polish newspapers.

Cameron M. Burns