Unfortunately we found a lot of old fixed ropes left behind by previous expeditions on the east face (not just on the south African route) and we brought down as much as we could (a few hundred meters of ropes) . It’s a pity climbers trashed the wall like this. Most of the ropes we found were hanging on the lower slabs which shares the start with other routes so we are not sure who left them behind.
I guess if you use a lot of fix ropes that¹s your own strategy choice and there is nothing wrong with that as long as you do everything in your power to bring them back down from the wall. Here it looked like the climbers didn¹t even try to remove them. Considering the small number of ascents on the east face of the towers and the amount of trashed ropes still hanging on the wall it seems surprisingly common practice for climbers to leave their ropes behind. And from what we could see, there are still loads of ropes hanging on « Golazo » and « the linea de locura ».
It was really annoying having to climb around these ropes. The ropes get beaten and trashed by the hard weather conditions but they don’t disappear! We’re more than grateful to be able to enjoy this incredible environment, and find it extremely important to leave as little trace as possible behind. Bringing down those trashed ropes felt like a small extra effort in comparison to the satisfaction it gave us to see the wall cleaner as we were going down.
- Ropetrash : extra weight to carry down!