Cerro Torre, Compressor Route, and Clarification. On January 29 and 30, 1996, Charlie Fowler and I climbed the Compressor Route on Cerro Torre, attaining the base of the summit mushroom at 9:30 p.m. in dead calm but in cloud. Charlie and I elected to risk a summit bivy in the hopes of getting the view the next day. We discovered a crevasse at the base of the summit mushroom in which we spent the night shivering in bivy sacks. We had each been in Patagonia more than two months attempting Cerro Torre with a variety of partners. Our seasons of suffering were rewarded when the clouds cleared overnight and we were able to watch the sunrise from Torre’s summit*. Watching the alpenglow spread across the Southern Patagonian Ice Cap was an overwhelming experience, one that validated 11 years of alpine suffering.
During our descent we passed two Poles and four Italians, all of whom were making their first attempt on the Compressor Route. They all went to the summit. (I made the summit on my 14th attempt).
Clarification: Regarding page 231 of the 1996 Journal: Also climbing with Jim Donini and I was Stefan Hiermaier of Germany.