Ortner grew up on a farm in Eastern Tyrol where he discovered his love for the mountains as a herder in the high alpine hills. Born in Lienz in 1983, he went on to become a mountain guide. On the first attempt on Cerro Torre he was hired to help guide the camera crew and, by the second expedition, had become David’s climbing partner. Peter distinguishes himself on ice but is also a proficient well-rounded rock climber.
Both Peter’s and David’s strengths complement each other. Impressively, apart from a few meters, Ortner was able to free climb the Compressor Route while seconding.
"As an alpinist, you are always seeking something new and uncertain, so it's obvious that an apparently impossible project is quite appealing. David didn’t have to ask twice if I would be his partner on Cerro Torre. I will never forget Cerro Torre and the experiences I had there."