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Dean Potter Solos Compressor in 11 Hours


by Hans Florine

February 04, 2002

Camp4 - Climbing News Archive

In a place known for it's atrocious weather, the Compressor Route (5.10, A1) has seen much action over the past week. Just days ago the Huber brothers made the first all free ascent of the popular Cerro Torre testpiece. Now Dean Potter is adding to the records of an incredible Patagonian climbing season with an 11 hour solo of the route. I am not sure what the fastest ascent was, but John Middendorf has done it in 14 hours.

Potter only roped up on the last "Bridwell" pitch (A3). Patience, luck (read:good weather), and excellent timing played key roles in Dean's third season in Patagonia. If the weather stayed clear long enough, incredible things were bound to happen.

In a recent post to Risk Online, Russian climber, Arkadi Seregin stated that Dean Potter ("Harry Potter" as they called him) asked if he could join them crossing the glacier to the base of the climb because he was climbing alone. Once at the base of the route, "Harry Potter" began his lightning-quick ascent.

On his way back down he met up with the Russians at the bergshrund apporximately 9 pitches off the deck. Arkadi Seregin said, "Potter decided to stay overnight with us. I was impressed got to know he had nothing to sleep in (just the emergency bivy bag, which is not Gore-Tex). I gave him my jacket. He asked me 'Are you sure you don't need it?'"

Read More About The 2002 Patagonian Climbing Season

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