Trip Report
'TASTE THE PAINE' grade VII solo F.A. in Patagonia
Tuesday January 29, 2008 7:13am
wow! so much has happened for me in the last two months. i have fufilled my climbing dream of over six years a few days ago. standing on the top of cerro escudo in the torres del paine region of southern patagonia was anything but sane. i opened a 1,200 meter (4,000ft) overhanging big wall route in some of the worst weather i have ever experienced! i was on the wall for a total of 34 continous days, saying screw fixed ropes and siege style climbing, and went for it in pure alpine style continously moving the camp up as i went. showing up with my one haul line and two 70m lead lines might have been a bit crazy, but thats my way. the how is as important as the what. the climb was very difficult on all aspects, gear got thrashed, ropes got cut, rocks came through the ledge, whippers were logged, screamers blown, and of course the weather, oh the weather! i got absolutly pummeled by the patagonian storms!

I have to give a big thanks to all of the companies and organizations that helped out on this one. the climb was supported by a Lyman Spitzer grant from the AAC and Cascade Designs. As well, much help was given to me by Patagonia clothing, Black Diamond, Bluewater Ropes, Yates, and Erratic Rock expeditions of Puerto Natales. Again, big thanks to all of those who helped make my dream a reality.

there is so much i want to talk about, but first i need to fill my stomach with real food, eat lots of ice cream, and cut this hair! i will be back to fill in a few details.

  Trip Report Views: 7,452
About the Author
DaveT. is a big wall climber from southeast face portaledge.


Trad climber
  Jan 29, 2008 - 07:34am PT
Amazing accomplishment! Well done and congratulations on the ascent!


Sport climber
Boulder, Colorado!
  Jan 29, 2008 - 08:39am PT
Major congrats. Can't wait to hear the details (and don't forget to fill us in on the real food you are eating - vanilla or chocolate?)

Big Wall climber
  Jan 29, 2008 - 09:21am PT
Outstanding Effort!

I'm blown away...


Big Wall climber
Terrapin Station
  Jan 29, 2008 - 09:43am PT
Well done man! Did you have to haul your bag and your sack separately? You have to go in for gonad reduction surgery now.
Well done.
Where's the pix duuude?
'Pass the Pitons' Pete

Big Wall climber
like Ontario, Canada, eh?
  Jan 29, 2008 - 09:56am PT
He told me a few months ago he would climb the wall. And he did.

Congrats, Dave! Way to go, you crazy bastard!

Try not to suffer from too much "dietary indiscretion" and tell us more!

Trad climber
St. Charles, MO
  Jan 29, 2008 - 10:06am PT
That is truly freaking awesome! I'm looking forward to more details.

Trad climber
The state of confusion
  Jan 29, 2008 - 10:08am PT
Congratulations, Dave.
I hope you'll post some pix soon!

  Jan 29, 2008 - 10:18am PT
Crazy? Hmm, doubt it.

Calculated, driven, accomplished, persistent, systematic, patient--yessir. Nice work, Dave. Way to push it!

Trad climber
  Jan 29, 2008 - 10:24am PT
Superb effort!!!

anxiously looking forward to the full report,

Gym climber
Small Town with a Big Back Yard
  Jan 29, 2008 - 10:59am PT
Way to go Dave!
Been reading about the progress here and there, congratulations on a stupendous effort!!

Awaiting the full TR, I am sure it will be otherworldly.

Brian in SLC

Social climber
Salt Lake City, UT
  Jan 29, 2008 - 11:13am PT
Yeah, way to go Dave!


-Brian in SLC

Mudcat Spire
  Jan 29, 2008 - 11:26am PT
Dear David,

Hi, I just heard about your big rock climbing trip. Sounds really cool! I'm nineteen and blonde and really want to learn how to rock climb. Maybe you can show me around when I come to Yosemite Park this summer?



Trad climber
Santa Clara, CA
  Jan 29, 2008 - 11:30am PT
Damn impressive, can't wait for the details and pics.

Gym climber
Small Town with a Big Back Yard
  Jan 29, 2008 - 11:34am PT
Funny, Yo.
John Mac

Trad climber
Breckenridge, CO
  Jan 29, 2008 - 11:43am PT
Wow, amazing story, looking forward to the TR and pics.

Enjoy your extra helpings of ice creame!

Well done Dave.


Big Wall climber
  Jan 29, 2008 - 11:52am PT
Badass, Dave!

"rocks came through the ledge,"

My friend who posts as Ben Rumsen on here has a story for you, for sure!

Mountain climber
Dak side
  Jan 29, 2008 - 12:01pm PT
kick ass!

Trad climber
Living Outside the Statist Quo
  Jan 29, 2008 - 12:03pm PT
Bravo Dave! What a hell of an effort Wow what a climb.


Big Wall climber
Crestline CA
  Jan 29, 2008 - 12:48pm PT
Great Job Dave... only you have the experience and patience to do such a route... all those "obscure" routes you did on the Cap have proven to be great preparation for this climb... you are to be congratulated for your vision and determination not to mention your climbing skills... come back safe Dave...
Toker Villain

Big Wall climber
Toquerville, Utah
  Jan 29, 2008 - 12:54pm PT
Be warned:

Yo is lying.

She's underage!

Trad climber
Tunneling out of prison
  Jan 29, 2008 - 12:56pm PT
Wow sounds incredible, and scary! I will be waiting to see the rest of the story...

Trad climber
it's all turtles, all the way dooowwwwwnn!!!!!
  Jan 29, 2008 - 01:00pm PT
wow, crazy.
what else can this even be compared to?

lloran krop(sp?) comes to mind.
(that swede who rode his bike, towing al his gear, from sweden to everest and then successfully climbed solo, no porters, no sherpas, no O2, then rode his bike back to sweden).

Big Wall climber
Reno NV
  Jan 29, 2008 - 01:27pm PT
Wow Dave, that sounds totally sick.
Can't wait for the details!

You did take pictures I hope?
'Pass the Pitons' Pete

Big Wall climber
like Ontario, Canada, eh?
  Jan 29, 2008 - 01:29pm PT
Nobody has made a continuous solo ascent of a Grade VII big wall. I believe a solo ascent has been made, but the climber had to bail, and then return later to finish it. Dave knows, and can fill us in.

Trad climber
San Diego, CA.
  Jan 29, 2008 - 01:45pm PT
Sounds like an amazing ascent. Congrats Dave, and I can't wait to hear the entire saga in greater detail.


Hobart, Australia
  Jan 29, 2008 - 02:22pm PT
Great work Dave!

Show us your line!!
(photo from a trip I made in 1993, before any routes on this magnificent wall were climbed).

  Jan 29, 2008 - 02:40pm PT
That took a lot of courage, Dave.

Congratulations ....

My twin brother's laundry room
  Jan 29, 2008 - 02:48pm PT

Nice name. See you in the Valley.

Social climber
  Jan 29, 2008 - 03:10pm PT
You make those valley campers towing crabs up the rock look like a bunch of big wall weenies.

Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
  Jan 29, 2008 - 03:39pm PT
East Face of Cerro Escudo ("Shield")


A previous route on the east face, "The Dream" was done in December 1994-January 1995 over 20 days by Brad Jarrett, Christian Santelices, and Chris Breemer. It was repeated in 2001 by Marek Holecek, Tomas Rinn and Tomas Sobotka.


Hobart, Australia
  Jan 29, 2008 - 04:05pm PT
Speaking of Forteleza, who knows more about that brilliant route up the left arete?

Trad climber
  Jan 29, 2008 - 04:21pm PT
A very proud and inspiring climb/trip/adventure.
Good sh#t dude.

wayne w

Trad climber
the nw
  Jan 29, 2008 - 04:25pm PT
Dave really makes his friends proud of him this time!


  Jan 29, 2008 - 04:28pm PT
congratulations. looking forward to the full story and pics!

Big Wall climber
Mammoth Lakes
Author's Reply  Jan 29, 2008 - 04:53pm PT
first, thanks a lot to all of the positive responses that this thread has provided. its good to know that a lot of people are psyched to see something like this go down.
it has been a very long journey to get to what i have just pulled off. for over six years i have been training in the valley so that i could take the next level like this. ever since seeing el cap, reading about polar sun spire cerro torre, and similar peaks, i knew that i wanted in. this climb was the first of its kind i believe as pete stated. and i am going for another one this winter here in september. but first i must explain this one a bit...

i arrived here in patagonia this last november 15th, after dragging five haulbags down from my home in sacramento. just an adventure and challenge in itself! i was robbed in buenos aires which led to a dramatic fight in the terminal, but i eventually made it to puerto natales with all of the gear, thank god. i was bringing down the full rack and alpine kit, a few hundred pounds and about 70,000$ worth of the best gear available. all of my gear was brand new, and i came up with some good ideas and modifications to my systems as to be able to guard against the unbelievable strength of the constant storms down here.
the approach to the wall is 12 miles from the roads end, and i made this 11 times before i started the climb for a round trip total of 264 miles of load carrying, of corse only half the time with weight, and some loads being lighter than others. in the end two americans, walker and LB, helped a bit to get some of the gear from campamento japonese to the glacier camp at the foot of the east face of cerro escudo. luckily i had a 60 gb ipod to help crank out the miles with two solar chargers.
so my climbing plan was pretty simple; or so it seemed! i showed up with two 70m lead lines and one double length static haul line, and decided to climb it in alpine style and not use fixed ropes or any other steps back into the style of the past. one person, one wall, with only the summit as an acceptable outcome. nothing was going to stop this dream from coming to fruition except for what we put in the back of our mind and dont talk about. for being alone on such a wall with no chance of rescue, every move had to be assesed and executed as if i was just doing another hard route on el cap with the handy yosar chopper on the ready. of course it wasnt, but i needed to be willing to go for it none the less.
so this wall alredy had one route on it, to the right side, put up by three americans- brad jarret, chris breemer, and cristian santilices. they did make the wall, but not the summit. but dont let this fact throw you off- they were bad ass for going for this wall, and much respect from me is focused their way. this ascent came 13 years ago and i believe it took this very talented team of three something like 23 days or so to climb to the summit ridge. a few other minor attempts were logged on this wall as well, but nothing close to making a route.
as far as other grade sevens go pass the pitons, yes, i believe jim beyers solo of the west face of mount thor is the closest anyone has come to soloing a grade seven by a new route. but yes, he scrambled off the big ledge that splits the wall, leaving all of his stuff up there, and returned next year traversing back on and finishing. again, this gets so much respect from me, as i know jim, and showed that it could be done. maybe.
after fixing the first 130 meter slab with not so bad difficulties to 5.6R A3, i started to haul the bags up and prepared to blast, never willing along the way to fix more than two to three pitches at a time. while hauling some bags up one at a time, the sun came out on the wall full strength(rare!) and all hell started to break loose from the summit. ice, rock, and snow was ripping all past me so i went down to the pile of my bags at the base, un harnessed, and went to camp five minutes away for lunch to let the wall cool down before returning. when i came back a few hours later, i had a nice surprise from the wall. a nice basketball size rock came down at full speed right onto my harness at the base. my aiders, daisies, mini traxion, some biners, and a loker were absolutly destroyed. and worse, the harness had it´s swami cut through about 50% and had lost two gear loops, and another was threatning to fall off!i had some extra aiders and daisies, and sewed some new gear loops on. but the yates harnesses are so stong to start with, i just went with the cut up one for the whole climb. i did not have the extra money to replace it, and it is just about impossible to do so down here anyway.
eventually i was able to blast after a few big storms rolled through, on december 23rd. i was knowingly going to be spending christmas, new years, and my birthday up there. one pitch above the large ledge, i made my first of many portaledge camps, tying down the ledge to many pitons and tensioned hooks to keep it down. the updrafts on the wall were almost funny, as they would lift even the haulbags! yes, i tied these down too!
so i guess i should touch on the hardware before i continue. this first bivy anchor, as with half of all the belays on the route, were entirely natural. i absolutely kept the drilling to a minimum on this climb for many reasons. and when i did drill belays it was two shorty hangerless 1/4 inchers. yep, old school style and sketchy. but they were quick to drill, lighter, and there arent so many. i highly reccomend the second ascent team(or soloist) to take a bunch of real bolts up there and strengthen it up. but keep the natural belays just that. as for the pitches, they averaged 65 to 70 meters each, usually with between 0 to 6 holes per lead. two pitches had 10 to 12 holes on them. not sh"t when you think about how long, and overhanging the climb was.
i am not going to explain the details of the pitch by pitch beta spray, but i will say this. i have climbed a fair amount of routes over the years, and hands down this is the hardest route yet i have touched. nevermind the difficulty, this is the best climb i have climbed, ever. pitch after pitch of sustained thin overhanging cracks never ended, and the climbing was on excellent rock in a stunning location. and believe me, there are a few sections where you will take some long whips and/or crush yourself on the way down. yes, i took a few of these. and yes again, they hurt. but luckily i avaoded all serious injuries, but did have a few close calls.
the crux of the route came at about one third height. a few solid pins off the belay (with a small ledge to hit of course) led into about 12 to 14 beaks, not the longest stretch of beaks on the climb, but i ripped many out testing them on the way through the pitch, and all but two i cleaned with my fingers!
a few falls were logged when things went wrong, and some blood was lost, but nothing so bad i had to deal with in a deperate way.
my second camp on the wall saw an enormous storm, just pounding. two and a half days of continous wind and snow left my 80cm wide belay ledge(the only ledge of size on the route) with three meters of snow on it. i wouldnt believe it if i wasnt there! i have photos of it all and will try to post them but i have no idea how(advice?). the ropes were trapped in three inches of ice, which i learned that jugging on is quite hard and really sucks. at this point it was only about day 8 of 34. the pattern of bad weather continued more or less for the first three weeks of the route, which was the first half of the route. the second half fell in only two more weeks, as i recieved better weather, even though it was steeper and more sustained climbing. i have a few pics where i am rapping down to clean the pitch i just led, and i am an honest 20 to 30 feet from the wall.
the steepness of the route was quite impressive to me, and it gave me a false sense of security. i thought that everythging that fell, or most of it, would fall out from me. sure, lots of the time this was the case, but not always. i would hear it coming and stop what i was doing and watch it come for me. i would stay quite still and calm, loosen my dasie chain, and then shift to the left or right in my aides to let it do past. jokingly i was refering to it as ´dancing´! but my ledge didnt dance, and it took many hits. the worst was when a fist sized rock went through my customized double wall triple pole fly system, through my puffy jacket as well, and came to a rest in the pile of sleeping bags inside. luckily i was up climbing the pitch above the ledge, as it landed where my head is when i sleep. more repair work insued, a constant job task on a wall as pist off as this one.
eventually i started to get closer and closer to the top, with stacked pitches of A3+ to A4+ continuously lined up beneath me. once i was three pitches from the top i knew i would be going for the summit soon. i had one last hard aid pitch, two easier pitches up the right trending ramp, and then i would be on the ridge. the virgin ridge. i had no idea what to expect up there, as you cant see it from anywhere, at least you know one thing- it is sh#t rock up there. it changes from bomber granite to a nasty black shale which in itself is solid, but quite shattered.
on day 33 i decided to push up the last aid pitch to the ramp. before this, i had planned it out perfectly. i had an alpine pack packed with tech tools, crampons, puffy pants and jacket, bivy sack, goggles, gaiters, food and water, and all of the alpine goodies that go with the game. i didnt take it with me on that day as i was planning only on fixing my rope up to the ramp and going for it tommorow. but i made the ramp by 11am, and decided to go up it to have a look at the ridge. the tow pitches up the ramp went quick enough, but from the summit ridge notch i made it to, i couldnt see the ridge, as a tower was in the way. so i climbed this section out of the notch, the hardest part of the ridge, and was up on the summit ridge proper by 1pm. i had nothing with me. no food or water, pack, or anything. just a headlamp and my lead gear. a quick smile broke out on my face and i just went for it. weather was warm and clear enough, but a bit windy. i made the summit notch proper, tagged the top, and went back into the notch for pics and to suck the water from a trickle in the back of a crack. within a few minutes i was free soloing back down the way i came, rapping back down to the ledge on the wall proper, making it back by 10 or 11pm or so.
my dream had come true. no, i made it come true. i am not even going to try to relate how i felt actually doing what i had dreamt of for so long, but i am sure you have an idea. the next day saw one of my proudest pushes ever, rapping the whole wall in 18 hours in desperately windy conditions. on the second of many raps i lost some of my only good rope, having to cut it loose from behind a flake. so, about the ropes- i had my three cords, and just before i left the ground a fourth 60m rope was donated to me by the americans. it was not so usefull on the way up, as most of the pitches were 70 meters, but it came in handy on the way down.
it went like this. i would tie all of my ropes together ends to ends. then i would rap, down swing and aid, and do lots of tricks, connecting as many belays together ar the length of my ropes let me. then i would jug back up, and then bring down all of the bags at once with a special rappell braking system i came up with. then i would go back up the ropes again, and then pull them one by one as i made my way back down, again. i rpeated this process jugging the length of el cap one and a half times that day, until i was on the last rappel to the ground. another note- all of my ropes were completely screwed up by this point. core shots like a mother f er. as the last rope on the last rappell was being abused for the last time, it broke. i sick crack is what i heard, and i then i dropped. luckily after six feet of terror, the belay device stopped me. i looked up to see 2 meters of exposed core looking me in the face. then i smelled it. the overheated atc was burning the core strands through, as they cant take the heat like the sheath can. they started to go. i desperately looked for my knife to cut the load loose, but couldnt locate it fast enough on the back of my harness becaus of all the sh#t on my harness. so i did all i could do, and started to let the atc strip its way down the core, bunching the sheath up under it as it went. this was the burning of the core was distributed, and eventually it wasnt burning any more. but not the bunched up sheath wouldnt let the rope pass through the device, so i cut off my belay loop, and continued down un just the gri gri.
i made the ground a few minutes later, thinking light thoughts on the way down with the ridicously heavy load on my system, and let out a big monkey call when my boots made contact with the glacier. oh my god, i did it, and lived through it!
unfortunately i had to leave this rope on the route with all of the booty of the belay and a new dragonfly stove sitting next to the belay. i have been beating myself up since about this, as i really despise leaving this junk rope on the mountain. all of my friends here convinced me not to go up it to clean it off, but i am very sad that this perfect ascent left behind a rope on the wall. it is not on the line of ascent and i cant climb back up to it. i hope the winter storms sweep it off the slab, of i owe you some beers if you repeat the route and can remove it.

now i am in town relaxing between carrying down all of the stuff. trying to let it all sink in, of course with a big knowing smile on my face.

Trad climber
  Jan 29, 2008 - 05:11pm PT
Fking balls out, man.

Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
  Jan 29, 2008 - 05:21pm PT
Epic, Dave! You did it!

Thanks for sharing.

P.S. Don't sweat the remnant of rope left behind. The winds will rip that thing to shreds and carry it off within a few weeks.

  Jan 29, 2008 - 05:25pm PT
not too shabby

Trad climber
  Jan 29, 2008 - 05:28pm PT

great read too

Mudcat Spire
  Jan 29, 2008 - 05:33pm PT
Yeah, that was pretty hung out there.
Brutus of Wyde

Old Climbers' Home, Oakland CA
  Jan 29, 2008 - 05:42pm PT

Just freakin' WOW!

sf, ca
  Jan 29, 2008 - 06:41pm PT
holy f*#k dude

Big Wall climber
  Jan 29, 2008 - 07:00pm PT
Congratulations Dave!!! What an amazing adventure. Can't wait to see some pictures.

Trad climber
San Diego, CA.
  Jan 29, 2008 - 07:45pm PT
Amazing read and epic send! Congrats!!!

You Sir, definately deserved that summit.


Also, can't wait to see the pics!!!

Social climber
  Jan 29, 2008 - 07:47pm PT

Monument Manor
  Jan 29, 2008 - 07:51pm PT
Cool wall - didn't Brad Jarret do a line on it in the late nineties?
Big Kahuna

Ice climber
Hell Hardest climb I did was getting out of bed.
  Jan 29, 2008 - 08:25pm PT
Nice Send! Gratz
Ottawa Doug

Social climber
Ottawa, Canada
  Jan 29, 2008 - 09:11pm PT
You da man! Always inspiring.


Trad climber
temecula, ca
  Jan 29, 2008 - 09:14pm PT
please post pics asap! thats hardcore...crazy bastard!

Trad climber
Top of the Mountain Mun
  Jan 29, 2008 - 09:33pm PT
(to be yelled at the top of your lungs)

Double D

  Jan 29, 2008 - 09:46pm PT
Yikes! Good job Dave. Not you average Hawaiian holiday for sure!

  Jan 29, 2008 - 09:58pm PT
I promise to get busy building your alter A.S.A.P. Please forgive me lord for taking so long to acknowledge you...


Big Wall climber
Yosemite area
  Jan 29, 2008 - 10:01pm PT

I am so psyched for you, and so glad that you are OK. Can't wait to see you in the valley, and hear the real story from your mom!

Take care, and enjoy the ice cream.



Social climber
somewhere that doesnt have anything over 90'
  Jan 29, 2008 - 10:14pm PT
Holy S**t, what a great tale! Any hint of your next solo location?
'Pass the Pitons' Pete

Big Wall climber
like Ontario, Canada, eh?
  Jan 29, 2008 - 11:33pm PT
Great story, Dave! Fabulous route! Beers in May, dude. When do you get back home, incidentally? I'll be in Yos. for a few weeks starting Feb 18.

So what did you do for water up there, anyway? Can you melt snow from ledges, or what? How much fuel did you bring, and how much fuel do you need to melt and heat to boiling a litre of water?

As for posting photos, if you email me some photos, Dave, I'll resize, upload, and post for you. And I can explain how to splice them into your post where they'll look good. We'll edit it up so it looks nice.


Big Wall climber
Ashland, Or
  Jan 30, 2008 - 12:09am PT
congrats Dave!

Trad climber
Nothing creative to say
  Jan 30, 2008 - 12:46am PT

rawk on

as for photos... got to some place to host them (,, etc), upload them, then copy the links between these 'tags'

the tags look like this


remove the period tho in the first tag

Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
  Jan 30, 2008 - 12:52am PT
great send Dave, thanks for sharing - hope to run into in the Valley

Social climber
No Ut
  Jan 30, 2008 - 01:28am PT
What a grand adventure, Dave! Welcome back!

Jerry Dodrill

  Jan 30, 2008 - 02:50am PT
Right on Dave!

Check your e-mail!

John Moosie

Beautiful California
  Jan 30, 2008 - 02:52am PT
WOW !!! Very Proud. Thanks for sharing it with us.

Big Wall climber
33° 45' N 117° 52' W
  Jan 30, 2008 - 04:44am PT
Friggin crap

you did it bro.



Trad climber
Santa Clara, CA
  Jan 30, 2008 - 12:15pm PT
Wow. Very nicely done.

You must've been gripped during those raps.

Proud send, dude!

Big Wall climber
Crestline CA
  Jan 30, 2008 - 12:18pm PT
Not bad for a kid!! You should be dead you know... those rappells were not good Dave, not good at all... but you got away with it and I guess luck is sometimes the best thing you can have in climbing. We are all proud of you lad and I knew all along you would do it... if you didn't get killed of course!
Nice trip report too.. stay safe now and get your butt back to the USA so we can celebrate your efforts...
Standing Strong

Trad climber
snowshoe thompson history trail
  Jan 30, 2008 - 02:12pm PT
sweet send! congrats and many blessings to you and your family.

wayne w

Trad climber
the nw
  Jan 30, 2008 - 03:21pm PT
'Champions aren't made in gyms. Champions are made from something they have deep inside them: A desire, a dream, a vision. They have to have last minute stamina, they have to be a little faster, they have to have the skill and the will. But the will must be stronger than the skill.'

Muhammad Ali

Gym climber
sawatch choss
  Jan 30, 2008 - 03:44pm PT
baaaaaaad f*k'n aaaass, my friend. A big parrillada has your name all over it I hope!

Trad climber
Memphis, TN
  Jan 30, 2008 - 04:01pm PT
Good Lord, Is this real? (I'm kidding) but this seems like something from a fictional book or movie. And hell yeah, it needs to be both. It is SO far out of "me" that it seems like something a Martian would do. As I've said before, anybody that can do "that" is not of the same species as me.

Write it up, do interviews, let some wordsmith beat it into shape and sell the hell out of it to us and plenty more.

The photo's dude. As bad as I want all of them, you should protect them. (I know, many will kick my ass for suggesting such a thing) If you can figure out some way to let us see them and at the sametime, preseve your rights, that'd be heaven.

Heck, setup a paypal account and I'll pay to see them. Let "Rock and Ice" bid on the story and pics. But it seems like you're really "one of us" (a group I claim only through friends and limited experience!) so maybe we'll see them here.

Really, words can't convey the congratualtions, admiration, "You da Man!" kind of thoughts I have about this.

Damn Dude. We'll be waiting for what's next, of that, I promise.
Ben Rumsen

Social climber
No Name City ( and it sure ain't pretty )
  Jan 30, 2008 - 04:15pm PT
Great route and great accomplishment, from someone who's been there and knows what those Roaring 40's winds are like.

Gym climber
San Francisco, CA
  Jan 30, 2008 - 05:14pm PT
dave ..

this is totally your style! -- congratulations!!! .. i can't wait to hear more stories about this when i run into you next ..

.. dinner + drinks are on me next time in the valley ..


Trad climber
  Jan 30, 2008 - 05:35pm PT
Wow. That's an awesome send. You really took it to the next level from the sounds of it. Ground up, no fixed ropes, natural anchors and gear on such a remote and huge wall. Damn.

I'd love to see a full list of everything you brought for a trip like that. It must have been just amazing to hit the ridge and top out. Wow!

Definitely don't sweat the rope, there is so much worse you could have done to the route, instead you've left something for others to aspire to for generations to come.

You've brightened my day reading your story. Most excellent work!
the Fet

  Jan 30, 2008 - 06:13pm PT
Great send!

I'd like to hear more about the robbery/fight.

Trad climber
Lee, NH
  Jan 30, 2008 - 07:05pm PT
Wow, what a story.
Mick K

Northern Sierra
  Jan 30, 2008 - 07:12pm PT
I read your TR yesterday and I can't stopping thinking about it. Truely inspring!

Just look at all the posts from everyone we are blown away and ispired by your accomplishment.


  Jan 30, 2008 - 07:15pm PT
good show bro.
Jerry Dodrill

  Jan 30, 2008 - 09:49pm PT
Good Call SammyLee2. I sent Dave a note on this topic. Better to let us all see the images in print first rather than give them away here just for our kicks. Can't wait to see them though...
John Mac

Trad climber
Breckenridge, CO
  Jan 30, 2008 - 11:27pm PT

Thanks for sharing your story. Bloody amazing is all I can say.

Safe travels back to the US of A.

Rachel T

Sport climber
Dublin, CA
  Jan 31, 2008 - 12:11am PT
Congratulations Mi Hermano!

I can't wait for the family slide show and all the stories that we haven't heard yet. But, I think you'll have to sensor them for Mom. It's a good thing she was off work today after reading your post.

Lots of love and props!
Su Hermana, Ray

  Jan 31, 2008 - 01:57am PT
"Sometimes a dream, plan, training, instinct and fate are perfect right down to the second.."

Now that above, is a "quote" ..... yes-sireee

Trad climber
The Illuminati -- S.P.E.C.T.R.E. Division
  Jan 31, 2008 - 02:08am PT
Congratulations! I loved reading your trip report and can't wait for the pics!

  Jan 31, 2008 - 09:02am PT
geez...absolutely amazing.

Gym climber
sawatch choss
  Jan 31, 2008 - 11:49am PT
Post some pix for a while and pull 'em later if you need to hang on to their publishing value?

Trad climber
Denver, CO
  Jan 31, 2008 - 12:20pm PT
Amazing. Thanks for sharing!!!


Big Wall climber
  Jan 31, 2008 - 01:17pm PT
Awesome! Inspiring!

  Jan 31, 2008 - 01:24pm PT
The written version is almost better than the radio one! I can't wait to see some pictures of it now!

Great success, you sure deserve some maple sirup and I'm working on the free healthcare thing...

Emmanuelle from La Cueva de la Vallee del Silencio

Trad climber
Durango, Colorado
  Jan 31, 2008 - 02:51pm PT
Holy F*&%^ing S%&t. rock. Awesome route. Can't wait to read more.

Trad climber
vagabond movin on
  Jan 31, 2008 - 03:17pm PT
Jeaaaaaasus Christo! Proud man. That is certainly PROUD.


Gym climber
Small Town with a Big Back Yard
  Jan 31, 2008 - 06:27pm PT
Bump to keep this amazing achievement on page 1

Damn impressive Dave, love to see some pics.

Handjam Belay

Gym climber
expat from the truth
  Jan 31, 2008 - 06:49pm PT
A few years ago in the grant circles there was all of this grumbling about alpinism vs. guaranteed outcome wall climbing.

Aside from being an amazing feat of human will. This ascent seems to let some air out of the guaranteed outcome balloon.

Fuqn marvelous climb! I remember how sick this looked in that old mag after The Dream went down.

Spot on man!

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
  Jan 31, 2008 - 07:00pm PT
Dave, I read this a couple of days ago and cannot stop thinking about it. Way to push the envelope and way to inspire adventure!

Big Wall climber
Mammoth Lakes
Author's Reply  Jan 31, 2008 - 08:29pm PT
when David was 4 years old the first book I taught him and his sister to read was
"I Can Do It Myself". I also remember telling them that some day they would have
great advenures.... .Being a solo parent raising my two kids, I know i was always
wondering if I was teaching my kids the things they would need in their adult life.
Not so much of things like how to cook or .... but things like, the best help comes
from within, or if your not part of the solution, your part of the problem. From the
day David left Sacramento of course I was very concened about this climb. Not freaked
out with worry because I am totally confident in my Sons climbing skills. I have enjoyed his tallents, I'v even enjoyed his world first hand, climbing a couple big walls with him, spent the nignt on Dinner Ledge last year, but now... ..... after reading his trip report, I have not been able to e-mail or Skype with him. Liike I just got hit with a
bolder from terrorville. The fear that I could have lost my Son has a hidious grip on me right now. If anyone has advice for me, e-mail me at, and please don't talk to David about this post. He would be irritated with me for babbeling
on Supertopo..I feel that I failed to teach my son to have a fear of death. not from a climbing error, but from nature. I am soooooo very proud of him..But I want him to come home. I need to hug him...

Oh No... after posting i noticed this post shows as if from David.... I'm on his computer. I tried to delete, unsucessful. Hey Petons Pete,do you think I should be banned from supertopo???


right here, right now
  Jan 31, 2008 - 09:00pm PT
No mom, you shouldn't be banned.
And bein' that yer a mom and obviously a very good one:
That other stuff you spoke of concerning your son is the appropriate response!
No worries though, you got a good kid too.

right here, right now
  Jan 31, 2008 - 09:03pm PT
Thanks for posting up Dave T!!!
Here, I captured my favorite lines from your wonderful story:


"nothing was going to stop this dream from coming to fruition except for what we put in the back of our mind and dont talk about."

"a few falls were logged when things went wrong, and some blood was lost"…

…"more repair work insued, a constant job task on a wall as pist off as this one."

"a quick smile broke out on my face and i just went for it."

"i am not even going to try to relate how i felt actually doing what i had dreamt of for so long, but i am sure you have an idea."


Keep that Majik Alive!
Jerry Dodrill

  Jan 31, 2008 - 09:16pm PT
No you shouldn't be banned. Good heavens!

Its not that you "failed to teach [your] son to have a fear of death" You can bet that up on that wall he felt the most deeply stirring appreciation for life that could ever be imagined. These experiences are the lenses which give us perspective on all things to come. Just like there is no pure pleasure without knowledge of pain, one must look death in the eye to fully comprehend the sanctity of life. Be glad he has the good sense to go climbing and isn't at war. You did well.


Santa Cruz. CA
  Feb 1, 2008 - 01:03am PT
with 100 posts, this really should be on the front page. nice job dave, look forward to hearing more.

Trad climber
West Los Angeles, CA/Joshua Tree
  Feb 1, 2008 - 01:52am PT
What a proud accomplishment, congrats Dave!! Thanks for sharing all the details with us. It was an amazing read.

That really was so inspiring. My highest congrats!!

Also, you did this with a Muggs Stump award. I didn't know him, but I'm sure wherever he is, he is So friggin proud of what you did. It is one for the ages bro!!

I bet the Captain is going to seem SO friggin light to ya now :)!

Looking forward to hearing more about your adventure!!

Spencer Adkisson

Trad climber
Reno, NV
  Feb 1, 2008 - 02:47am PT
Way to go Dave! Here is a cyber high five /**

Keep that feeling forever man.

Unless somebody has already helped you out, here is what I do if I want to post pictures.

1. Plug your camera into your computer, and download all of them. Assuming you are using a PC, Just create a new folder (right click new> folder). Name it something meaningful.

2 Go to and create an account. Upload all your pictures into your new account. If they are really big, you can resize them on the photobucket site, but that is permanent. I use Irfanview. go here to get it, that way you can resize, or rotate your photos as you wish. (;
If you want to use Irfanview, just double click the icon once you have installed it on your computer. Then go to File>Open, and brows to the folder wher you downloaded all your pictures from your camera. Click on the one you want, and it will open the file. Then go to Image>Resize/Resample, and select your desired size. You can also do this to rotate left or right. Now go to File>save as, and name it something meaningful, so you can find it again, and it's not just some funky numbered file. You should be good to go after that. Upload your edited/resized photo onto photobucket, so it won't be humongous on the Supertopo page.

3. Open a separate window, and log onto Super Topo, and post a reply to your kick-ass thread.

4. Now, whenever you want to post a certain picture, just do a left click on the box that says IMG Code. It should automatically say "Copied". Or, you can do a right click, copy.

5. Now, go back to the Super Topo site, and do a Ctrl V (or right click paste) to paste the link where you want the picture to go. It will paste a bunch of junk, not the actual picture...don't worry about it. When you hit "Post This Reply" it will all show up as you wanted, like majic.

Like this

If somebody already told you this, then I apologize. Either way, I think we would all LOVE to see some pictures.

Congratulations once again. =) SA

Big Wall climber
  Feb 1, 2008 - 07:57am PT
Good job Nigga !!! Way to send. Peace. Nick
Dave Turner on Block Party. Another SOLO FA on the big stone. F*#K YEAH!!!
Way up there looking for something
Problems with your rope??? Call Dave Turner.
Block Party, Tempest and Sea of Dreams
King cobras at the bridge

Big Wall climber
Long Beach, CA
  Feb 1, 2008 - 11:54am PT
Congrats Dave. This is from the guy who told your Mom in the meadow in October that I was Jim Bridwell when you were doing the NA with Timmy and Malloy and were bivying/climbing near The Eye. Congrats on a spectacular send and good that you made it through all the tribulations on the horizontal and vertical!!

the Fet

  Feb 1, 2008 - 03:37pm PT
and he just won survivor too..


Trad climber
El Dorado Hills, CA
  Feb 2, 2008 - 06:32pm PT
Wow.. Just wow.

Hope to attend a slide show / talk on this experience real real soon.


Trad climber
  Feb 2, 2008 - 10:11pm PT
Sickter Dave, psyched you managed to make that line happen,
Much love, Somebodyelse and Somebodyelses Girlfriend.

Who knows?
  Feb 2, 2008 - 10:54pm PT

Trad climber
  Feb 3, 2008 - 01:31am PT
That is such an amazing climb I can hardly believe it!!! Last year I tried to hike up to the base of that rock just to see it. It is incredibly beautiful and quite remote. I tried from 2 different directions and never made it because the wind and snow just blew me flat. To live for 34 days on that wall is just incredible. Gigantic kudos for such an amazing feat, for the physical and mental effort, for your perseverance!

Cardiff by the sea
  Feb 3, 2008 - 01:32am PT
Damn Dave fantastic story of your epic ascent. Very proud work !! Way to take your local skills out on the global level, and show the world what a true badass you are!!

Congrats mt friend

Gym climber
San Francisco, CA
  Feb 3, 2008 - 11:52pm PT
since we're all sharing dave pics .. here are 2 of my favorite from 2005 ..

Dave during first Ascent of Atlantis

Another shot of Dave on Atlantis

Big Wall climber
  Feb 4, 2008 - 09:38am PT
I was in the area most of the time of dave´s ascent and talked to dave many times on radio. During the climb, i guided my mom in patagonia for 12 days, pioneered a new circuit in the paine, went to turkey for ten days fr a job, and the whole time dave was up there on the wall. i first spied this route12 years ago, finally came down to do it 5 years ago, but got snaileyed and decided to do something easier which turned out to be the solo traverse of the towers.
i have to say that this ascent was the most badass thing to go down here since dean climbed the fitz twice and cerro torre solo, while roping up for only one pitch. anyway, dave came down here, picked the line, got psyched, made cunning strategical decisions, and then just sent the motherfuc*er into oblivion. for all the climbers in the area, it was just huge to watch, truly inspirational. To solo a wall like that, then make a daring alpine dash to the true summit, its absolutely gobsmacking.
a couple of answers...somebody asked about water. daves strategy was to bank 15 gallons of water deep in the haulbag, and then try to top off a 5 gallon supply he carried near the top. When a freak snowstorm dumped 3 meters on him one third of the way up hea was able to fill up, and stayed pretty full all the way to the summit.
al dude, the wall was done via the Dream, by jarrett, breemer,and santileces in 94, but they never even tried to summit. this is probably just the third ascent to the summit proper.
Dave had 40 days of food with him, and past that another month of emergency past, rice and potato flakes. he said he was never even close to running out of food, and that he was either going to the top of the wall or was going to die trying...not that he was suicidal, just that short of death, nothing was going to stop him.
on day 15, i radioed dave and was the first one to talk to him, except for yelling, since he left the ground. obviously he was excited to talk. he told me then, "i can´t believe it, that the adventure of my life is also the route of my life".
after that, dave was in constant communication with host of admirers via 2 radios i left in the valley, especially a cute french canadien female climber that talked to dave for over 2 hours at a time. dave said later the she is my first radio girlfriend, but that is another story(and ongoing).
its funny, i first met dave on el cap via radio channel 420, and we have been great friends ever since.
so, somebody said dave won the mugs stump award for this climb. This is untrue. dave won the lyman spitzer award for this climb. dave was just awarded the mugs stump award for his next climb down here, another big mother of a solo on the virgin and oft attempted south face of the south tower of paine. thats the big thing, while he was fixing pitches on escudo, he came to town to apply for grants for his next big adventure...he is thinking that far ahead. pretty together for
26 year old slackliner from the valley.
so, lets draft off dave´s motivation and really push ourselves to greatness this year in whatever it is we do. ciao for now, steve "SHIPOOPOI" schneider

Mountain climber
  Feb 4, 2008 - 09:55am PT
Unreal. Way to go.


Trad climber
  Feb 4, 2008 - 10:34am PT
Bravo Dave! This is an amazing climb. Congratulations!!!

About the next adventure (South face of Paine south tower) some people said that is a virgin face, but I think that the Britons Stu McAleese and Mike "Twid" Turner climbed a new line in 2006 but without reach the summit (like the americans in Cerro Escudo), climbing the huge wall except the final rigde.


'Pass the Pitons' Pete

Big Wall climber
like Ontario, Canada, eh?
  Feb 4, 2008 - 10:42am PT
Thanks for a great report, Steve. I had asked about the water because I wondered if it would freeze up there or knott, and it sounds like it didn't, which must have been a huge advantage.

Did you ever get your hammer and stuff from Brenda? She's holding it for you, eh?
Chris Oakes

  Feb 4, 2008 - 02:51pm PT
pics coming...?

Great accomplishment.
mahyar mirtayebi

Big Wall climber
  Feb 4, 2008 - 09:31pm PT
hi dave
i know you are crazy

but you have tryyyyyyy



i like your succeed

please tryyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy
the Fet

  Feb 5, 2008 - 11:28am PT
Bumping this killer climbing topic.

Santa Cruz. CA
  Feb 5, 2008 - 11:58pm PT
where you at dave? more stories please.

Gym climber
San Francisco, CA
  Feb 6, 2008 - 04:31pm PT

Ice climber
Salt Lake City
  Feb 7, 2008 - 01:29am PT
Hi Dave!

I can't say how big my heart feels in congratulations for you!
Beautiful fierce peaceful solo warrior


Trad climber
Corrales, New Mexico
  Feb 7, 2008 - 01:36am PT
Sounds like a hard earned dream,...good on ya. Pix yet?

Sport climber
Sacramento CA
  Feb 7, 2008 - 01:49pm PT
David is currently in the Park, Torres Del Paine. He sent a message via a climber stating he would be there for 2 weeks. I received the message on Tuesday. I bet he's looking at his next climb right now... .
Hardman Knott

Gym climber
Mill Valley, Ca
  Feb 7, 2008 - 01:56pm PT
Does that mean that someone told Dave's mom that he's OK?

  Feb 7, 2008 - 02:23pm PT
A stunning and very expressive accomplishment. Thanks for giving us all some more inspiration.

Trad climber
  Feb 10, 2008 - 05:00pm PT
Impressive dude!

Sure great to read it but like others, can't wait to see it!

Big Wall climber
Sequoia Ntl. Pk.
  Feb 15, 2008 - 06:04pm PT
Dave, we are sooo very proud of you here in the valley!! You continue to inspire me by going big.


Trad climber
Portland, Oregon
  Feb 15, 2008 - 06:46pm PT
Dave - you're following in some pretty deep footsteps there, good for you. Here's to all your future adventures...

Big Wall climber
Mammoth Lakes
Author's Reply  Mar 6, 2008 - 02:25pm PT
Hey Guys,

Just got back home to california from Patagonia two days ago. I wanted to thank all of you for the great amount and awesome content of all of the responses posted. Always on these trips i get to have great climbing experiences, but these always come second to all of the people i meet, the good times had, new places seen, and now; all of these responses are quite positive and flattering. Thanks to all of those who posted with the congrats.
I will be in yosemite for the spring season starting in the end of March, and i am psyched to see all of you there. maybe a good session in the meadow during the day, and i could give a slideshow/presentation in the night about the paine. cheers!!

the Fet

  Mar 6, 2008 - 02:56pm PT
give a slideshow/presentation in the night

That would be great.

Big Wall climber
Ashland, Or
  Mar 14, 2008 - 05:25am PT
bump for the sickness!

Trad climber
Washington, DC
  Mar 14, 2008 - 09:21am PT
Hey Dave! My climbing partner and I were the guys who "wooped" to you from Taller del Sol (first attempt) on the North Tower when you topped out and the next day when you planted your feet on the ground. Then we hung out on the moraine the next day with the dutch guys, gerke and martin, voytech the south african and raul from santiago. The the day after the next day we succeeded on Taller del Sol. Those were the best days of our two month trip.

From the beginning, with all of those trips into the Silencio Valley we were facinated and comforted by the sight of your tiny white triangle hanging in the sea of granite on Escudo. To meet you upon your success was momentous for us. Though, when we topped out on Taller a couple days later (with the help of some of your biscuits) and you weren't perched on Escudo, it wasn't quite the same. You're presence was missed.

Congrats once more! I have the feeling we'll meet again.

Trad climber
Washington, DC
  Mar 23, 2008 - 12:44am PT
Dave, the day after he touched down:

Social climber
  Sep 4, 2008 - 03:06pm PT
the Fet

  Sep 4, 2008 - 03:50pm PT
Did the article ever get done?

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
  Sep 4, 2008 - 06:42pm PT
Dave, you wuss! I'll bet you had rock shoes, rain gear, propane stove.....etc. And all of that rain and snow- anyone can climb when they're hydrated!

Big Wall climber
  Feb 11, 2009 - 09:46pm PT
Nice Job! Dave.

Cheers with three beers on an empty stomach!
'Pass the Pitons' Pete

Big Wall climber
like Ontario, Canada, eh?
  Feb 12, 2009 - 11:44pm PT
Cheers for Dave. Here's the photo from buddy's album. Buddy sure as hell gets around.


Gym climber
Small Town with a Big Back Yard
  Feb 25, 2009 - 02:17pm PT
Bad-ass alpinists bump
the Fet

  Mar 19, 2009 - 06:49pm PT
Bump for best of the taco.

Trad climber
Sac, CA
  Mar 19, 2009 - 07:28pm PT
Way to go Dave!!!! Jay and I can't wait to buy you a beer!!! SOOOOO Awesome!! : ) Take Care, Jen

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
  Mar 19, 2009 - 10:16pm PT
I'm bumping this mad mofo with a reference to what song I was listening to; George Thorogood must have had this bad boy in mind when he penned:

"...had a cobra snake for a necktie."
Bruce Perschbacher

Carbonale,Ill. 62901.
  Mar 19, 2009 - 10:47pm PT
Great to hear all's well. Hope to see you in the Valley towards the end of May.

Gym climber
Small Town with a Big Back Yard
  Apr 8, 2009 - 12:10pm PT
Badass-climbers-getting-it-done bump

Big Wall climber
Ashland, Or
  Apr 8, 2009 - 12:52pm PT
Nice bump. Can't wait to see Bobo back in the ditch!

  Oct 4, 2010 - 06:06pm PT
Tyler Durden

Trad climber
Yosemite Sam, CA
  Oct 4, 2010 - 10:02pm PT

  Apr 5, 2011 - 06:06am PT

Trad climber
  Apr 5, 2011 - 06:25am PT
There's a good bit of talk about style in Patagonia these days. Perhaps a few more people should take a look at ascents like this and a few less Redbull sponsored circus events. Kudos to Dave and his quintessential style. I can only aspire to such greatness.

Trad climber
Upper Leftish
  Apr 5, 2011 - 11:42pm PT
this ....... STILL .... makes my day.

so rad and so inspiring.

The Good Places
  May 13, 2013 - 12:39am PT
Myles Moser

Lone Pine, Ca
  Nov 30, 2014 - 06:50am PT
Go get pumped!!
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
  Nov 30, 2014 - 09:16am PT
After reading that account and the comments,
you are one determined (and lucky!) dude.

Great TR, too, even w/o your pix.

Big Wall climber
santa cruz, ca
  Nov 30, 2014 - 10:44am PT
Wow! Nice bump and of course......climb!!