Cerro Torre tragedy : the rescue story by the Ragni di Lecco

Della Bordella, De Zaiacomo, Bacci

Cerro Torre East face, with north face in the shadow and Conquista path/ ©Matteo Dellabordella

What has happened in recent days on Cerro Torre has overwhelmed us. In the space of a few hours there was anxiety as we waited for news, relief at knowing that our climbers were safe and sound, happiness at having achieved a new route and despair at the tragedy involving Corrado « Korra » Pesce and Tomas Aguilo. Our climbers Matteo Della Bordella, David Bacci and Matteo De Zaiacomo experienced this tragedy first hand as they too were opening a new route on Cerro Torre when it happened. Here is their report of the events – their new route, the accident, Aguilo’s rescue and Korra’s attempted rescue.

Tuesday 25th January.

It is 11.30 am, David Bacci, Matteo De Zaiacomo “Giga”, and I (Matteo Della Bordella) set off up the east face of Cerro Torre, via the route established by Cesare Maestri and Toni Egger in 1959, up to the triangular snowfield. From here we climb another 5 pitches past committing slabs to reach the so-called “English box”. Nothing but a few crumpled sheets of metal remain of the box, and nowadays this provides no form of shelter of place to bivy. We’ve brought our portaledge and we fix it and settle in for the night. As we’d climbed we’d seen Thomas Aguilo “Tomy” and Corrado Pesce “Korra” fix the ropes on the first pitches of their line, about 150 meters from ours, before returning to their tent.

Wednesday 26th January.

During what turns out to be an exhausting and long