Category: Expedition

During the second day on the wall. © Hansjörg Auer / The North Face

Gimmigela East 2016

Located on the border between Nepal and India Gimmigela East (7005m), it is the subpeak of Gimmigela Chuli (7350m), and also referred to as ‘Gimmigela’s Sister’. It´s steep Northface had never been tried before by any expedition and was a well hidden project in the remote Kangchenjunga area. Situated approximately four kilometers from the World’s third highest peak Kangchenjunga (8585m), it´s summit was only reached twice by Japanese after trips in 1993 and 1994 from India, Southside of the mountain.

After a five-day gruelling hike through the jungle alongside the Tamar River and across the higher plateaus of the Ghunsa Valley, we basecamped a little higher than the classic Pangpema basecamp; one of Nepal’s most treasured sites.

Alex Blümel and I started to acclimate on the Dhromo south ridge and, after a total of three nights at 5900m, on November 8, we felt ready for Gimmigela East’s north face. Due to a wet Monsun with high precipitation we found the 1200m high face in perfect conditions. After two bivies, of which the second one on the final summit ridge seriously challenged us due to the small ledge been extremely exposed to the strong winds, we reached the summit at 7.30am on 10th November. A cold, windy but clear morning allowed us to see far into Sikkim’s great mountain range and to the unexplored east face of Kangchenjunga.

„Yet again, it was one of those expeditions where everything came together. A great project, an even greater friendship and a very efficient first ascent of a ’King Line’ on a 7000m peak in one of the most remote places in the Himalayas.“

Thank you Alex for the great time on and off the wall, and Elias and Matteo for making the time spent in the basecamp during this expedition even sweeter.

 

Fact Box:

Mountain Range:                                 Kangchenjunga Area/Himalaya/Nepal

Mountain:                                              Gimmigela East (7005m)

Altitude of Basecamp:                         5200m

Difficulties:                                            85° ice

First Ascent of the face:                      8th – 10th of November 2016 in alpine style

After many hours of climbing in the storm. © Alex Blümel

Annapurna III 2016

When arriving home from an unsuccessful expedition, I prefer to keep to myself and reflect. A short summary of our expedition, however, follows:

After pre-acclimatising in Zermatt/Valais Alps David, Alex and myself flew to Kathmandu early April, soon establishing Basecamp at 4600m between Annapurna III and Annapurna IV. Like previous expeditions we took the helicopter to achieve this. Nick Bullock, an alpinist who was there in 2010, described the area as follows and I couldn’t do it any better: “It’s one of the most special areas in the Himalayas. In fact the place has only ever had a handful of very privileged people enter beyond its steep entry walls or the very inaccessible sheer cliffs of the Seti Kola Gorge and it soon becomes obvious by the fact there are no paths, tracks, feet-worn formations, human detritus or markings of any kind. The moraine between the top of the Seti Kola gorge and the col at the head of the cirque is a massive untamed jumble filled with icefall, tumbling blocks, fins of towering rubble, minarettes, spires of rock and grass meadow. All of these are virtually untouched by human hand.”

After three acclimatisation rounds on the Annapurna III East Ridge with a highpoint of 6000m we felt ready to give the Southeast Ridge a try. During three days we climbed a possible new highpoint (around 6500m) in really difficult and exposed terrain. But in the end the weather was not on our side and forced us to retreat. After another bivy and many rappels we were back at the glacier. Exhausted we hiked back to Basecamp. Unfortunately, we didn’t get the chance for another try due to heavy snowfall and even more humid conditions after that. It was a hard but inescapable decision to finish the expedition. With a last glance up this great line on Annapurna III we left the mountain mid May.

Thanks to David and Alex for the great time in this amazing mountain range, to Mungo and Menk for capturing our activities and to Flo for raising the money. Back in Nepal this fall for another high altitude session.

 

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Nilgiri South 2015

From October 22 to October 26 Hansjörg, together with Alex Blümel and Gerry Fiegl, successfully made the first ascent of the 1500m high Southface of Nilgiri South (6839m). This is certainly one of the finest ascents of the season in the Himalayas and a long waited project has finally been realised.

Nilgiri is located in the Annapurna massif in Nepal. Comprised of the North, Central and South Summit, the South Face rises directly from the glacier starting from 5400m up to 6839m. 

The Expedition started on October 5 and following a tricky and steep approach to Basecamp, the team immediately started the process of acclimatization. After spending two nights up in advanced basecamp at a height around 5300m, the conditions allowed for an immediate first attempt of the peak.

“Out of his eyes shined the brightest light when we all reached the summit together. What happened next was one of the darkest moment in my life.”

Hansjörg, Alex and Gerry climbed a line on the right side of the face, via the previous unclimbed Nilgiri Spire (6780m) and then by traversing up and down on the spectacular and exposed ridge, they reached the summit of Nilgiri South at 11am on October 25. It was the first ascent of this face and only the second ascent of the South Summit itself since the Japanese First Ascent in 1978. The team’s descent via the previously unclimbed Southwest Ridge was more technical and difficult than they had expected and at approximately 2pm on the 26th of October Gerry Fiegl sadly took a fall from which he did not survive.

„When an good friend falls and dies in front of you, that’s when everything else loses its importance. Our expedition could not have ended worse.”

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Nilgiri South was first climbed on 10 October 1978 via the East Ridge by a Japanese expedition led by Kazao Mitsui. The formidable South Face and SW Ridge had been attempted unsuccessfully on various occasions by Japanese, Czech and Slovene expeditions and the new Austrian route, climbed with three bivouacs during the ascent and one during the descent with difficulties up to M5 90° ice, is only the second ascent of Nilgiri South. It is probably one of the most important Himalayan ascents this season, unfortunately though overshadowed by the tragic loss of Gerry Fiegl in descent.

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These are the moments, which are making all the effort worth it. © The North Face/Elias Holzknecht

Siberian Big Walls 2015

One year before our expedition took place it were my friends Iker and Eneko Pou, getting inspired by the pictures of the Chukotka walls they had seen of Australian climbers Chris Fitzgerald and Chris Warners expedition to the area in 2014. Because of the big potential of first ascents on the moderate high walls they searched more team members. Immediately I was on board, furthermore joined by Siebe Vanhee and Jacopo Larcher.

Being so high up in the Northern hemisphere gave us the opportunity to choose our climbing rhythm because of the 24 hours of sunlight. As a multidisciplinary team with a mixed kind of qualities we aimed for the obvious and the natural climbs. Climbing free and in one push but also the style of fixing ropes and focussing on free climbing a harder and challenging line was an important goal of the trip. For all of us the values of clean climbing and avoiding unnecessary bolting were of high importance.

To be as efficient as possible we split into two teams, one comprised of Jacopo, Siebe and myself, the other of Iker and Eneko. Most routes we climbed in a single push, weather permitting, and using trad gear only, apart from one line, the “Red Corner“ on the wall of Commander, where five hand-drilled bolts were placed.

The walls as well as the environment, including the horrible mosquitos, who stayed during our whole journey and definitely made the basics of living like a little challenge, left a great impression to all of us.

A short sum up of the eight new routes on the 300m to 500m high walls of The Commander, The General and The Monk:

The Commander

Into the Wild – 7a/425m – Iker & Eneko Pou

The Two Parrots – 7a/320m, Iker & Eneko Pou

Red Corner – 7c+/450m, Larcher, Vanhee, Auer

The General

Wake up in Siberia – 6b/240m, Larcher, Vanhee, Auer

Aupa – 6c/300m, Iker & Eneko Pou

Mosquito Rock Tour – 7a+/450m, Iker & Eneko Pou

From Zero to Hero – 7a/490m – Larcher, Vanhee, Auer

The Monk

Sketchy Django – 6a+/400m, Larcher, Vanhee, Auer

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Masherbrum 2014

Flashback. An Austrian Expedition, led by Robert Renzler, climbed the Northface of Masherbrum in 1985. They started from Mandu Valley, got over some pretty scary serac zones and summited as a team of three on July 24. Andreas Orgler, Michael Larcher and Robert Renzler opened a great line. “I will roll the stone up to the summit. A stone formed out of ambition, self-awareness and love for the adventure.”, was the title of their written report afterwords.

My family had somehow a special realtionship to this expedition because one of the members, Christoph Rimml, grew up in my home village Umhausen and was a good friend of my father. Together they competed at skimountaineering races in the early 80’s. Unfortunately Christoph is no longer with us, due to an avalanche accident 14 years ago.

Always I’ve dreamed about this mountain. Even more during my Trango Valley Expedition in 2006. Every morning I saw Masherbrum when I opened my tent in Basecamp. A mountain which is hard to beat in beauty. Until now, the Northeastface remained unclimbed and is without doubt one of hardest challenges in the Karakorum. Not only the massive headwall, a monolith on it´s own at 7000+ meters, makes you feel really small and humble.

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Unfortunately there is not so much to tell about this years attempt. In the end Peter, David and I didn’t succeed in doing the first ascent of the unclimbed face. There are no excuses. This project is simply a different league in terms of climbing difficulties, complexitiy and the dimensions itself.

We acclimatized on Broad Peak (8051m). Climbed three loops up and down to Camp 3 at around 7000m. We had a good time in early season with lot’s of snow, but therefore we were the only expedition in the whole Baltoro region, which made everything kind of unique and really enjoyable. When the first teams for the 8000m peaks arrived we changed to Masherbrum Basecamp, which lies on a green terrace just above the wild Yermanendu Glacier. An oasis of bouldering and highlining right below the intimidating Northeastface. But this place had its price. The porters striked lower down and we had to carry up everything by our own.

However, the day arrived, we’ve all been dreaming for a long time. We felt ready to assume the risk of going for it. And we did. But after 350m of easy climbing during really bad snow conditions and surviving two avalanches, we recognised that there is no chance to get to the summit this time.

Forced to turn back we arrived to Basecamp the same day. While waiting for two more weeks the conditions on the mountain got even worse. It was snowing for more than one week and I still here the drumming noise of the avalanches going down the face.

Finally we had to take the decision. It’s always hard to accept that the mountain is stronger. But after more than 8 weeks in high altitude our bodies were worn out. We packed down our Camp and walked back along the moraines of the Baltoro Glacier to Askole. The Masherbrum Northeastface remains unclimbed and I will come back in future.

Thanks for the pics to Manuel Ferrigato and Mungo Hanslmayr. Furthermore to the rest of the gang (Alfi, Andreas, Othmar, Roland) and Servus TV/Red Bull.

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Kunyang Chhish East 2013

The 7400m Khunyang Chhish East is a sub peak in Kunyang Chhish massif, Hispar Muztagh, Karakoram. With the main summit being 7852m, it is the 21st highest independent peak in the World, and was first ascended by a Polish team led by Andrzej Zawada in 1971. However, despite several attempts, the East peak remained unclimbed until now. The best attempt so far has been made by the American duo Steve House and Vince Anderson in 2006. Unfortunately just 300m short of the summit they had to turn back, their efforts seized by a steep rock step. The 2700m Southwest face of Khunyang Chhish East has widely been regarded as one of the great remaining problems in alpinism.

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We were walking along the moraine of Hisper Glacier when we first came into contact with our project. On a green terrace at Dachigam where the Pumari Chhish Glacier floats out from the base of Kunyang Chhish I whispered to Simon: „I can´t believe it. It´s definitely a monster“. I was in awe with the dimensions. The big amphitheater, formed by the South, Main and East summits is one of the wildest places I´ve seen. We kept on moving towards Base Camp. Suddenly, Simon stopped again. The clouds were lifting and now we could see the whole Southwestface up to the summit pyramid of Kunyang Chhish East. We looked at each other, a deafening silence arose with the realisation that we had only seen half of the peak earlier that day.

The expedition did not start according to plan. Initially we had problems with receiving a permit for Kunyang Chhish East, which delayed the expedition by a few days and unfortunately when Simon called me from Bern to tell me that his passport issues had been resolved five minutes later Matthais, my brother, called. He was on his way to hospital because he had severely injured his thumb. After hearing the news I felt confused, sat down and tried to calm down. We had invested so much time in this project, researching and training. It felt like the balloon had burst however obstacles are part of life’s rich tapestry, so Simon and I decided to go ahead and venture off into the unknown.

Exactly 20 days later we set off for our first attempt on KC East Southwestface. It was June 25. The time in between was characterised as acclimatisation days. Slowly we tried to get used to the high altitude, climbing some ridges and little faces near Base Camp and as a final step we summited Ice Cake Peak (6400m) and slept on top. When we came down we had just one rest day before packing for the first try on KC East.

In the meantime Matthias arrived. But due to his injury and due to his lack of acclimatisation, it was not possible for him to join us. He couldn’t even join us on our ascent of Ice Cake Peak and that hit him hard, but we had to follow the rules when playing with Kunyang Chhish.

Simon and I felt really strong on the first attempt of KC East. On the third day, as the weather was starting to change and the winds were getting stronger and stronger we reached a small bivy spot at 7000m. It was only 2pm but the conditions didn´t allow us to continue with the climb. The spot was really exposed to the weather. I will never forget this night just hoping that we would not be blown away into the darkness of the Karakorum. The next morning it was even worse. Through the little zip of our tent, the snow was pressed inside. Normally I´m really good during hard situations on mountains suppressing my emotions. But suddenly at around 8am I knew that if we don´t react now, the mountain will. We packed and fought our way down to the base of the wall. After 14 hours, cold, shattered and emotionless Matthias was happy to see us alive and helped us carry our backpacks out to Base Camp.

Four days later we made another try but many avalanches and tons of fresh snow forced us to retreat at 5600m. We climb up to the third serac and waited while avalanches swept down the face. We started too early to catch the weather window. We were angry but in the high mountains, everything has to be perfect. The difference between failure and success is minute and any mistakes are not forgiven.

Disappointed we reached Base Camp. Although we had three more weeks’ time, it was clear that we had just one more attempt available. The failed attempts wear you out. We tried to cool down, slept a night and it then became clear that now we had to take the chance. Hook or crook.

Matthias’ acclimatisation was still not on the same level as Simons’ and mine. Alone, he just could climb up to 5500m. But this is not enough for KC East. He should climb at least Ice Cake Peak. Together with Simon he started for a two day push, while I chilled in Base Camp and searched for some bouldering.

The following ten days there was not so much to do. Bad weather, super high winds on top and snow down to Base Camp required a lot of patience. The expedition challenged our minds. We were already so close to the summit on our first attempt, the last cornice that forms the summit was well within our grasp.

On the evening of July 13, Karl Gabl, our meteorologist back in Austria, gave us a promising forecast. Not the perfect window, but at least the conditions on the wall acceptable due to clear cold nights. Now Matthias was on board. On July 14 at 4am, the team complete, we commenced the final try.

The first two days went smoothly. After a spectacular bivy on a tiny and exposed snow mushroom we climbed without problems up to 6600m on the second day. Just upcoming winds and spindrift on the last mixed pitches made the climbing a little bit inconvenient. We had another hard night and our little tent nearly collapsed because we were totally snowed in. The winds were still high and spinddrift continued all night long. The next morning was cold and grey. We tried to climb higher but couldn´t. After 200m we found a little crevasse where a tunnel formation lead inside. A perfect shelter, no winds, no spindrift which allowed us to wait for the next two days.

On the morning of July 18 the winds calmed down and the weather cleared up. It seemed our last chance. At 6am, as the sun rose we set off. The following mixed part was hard, our toes and fingers were freezing and the long traverse out to the ridge on glared ice was very exhausting. At 7000m we made a small break before going for the final ridge. The first step to gain the height of the ridge turned out to be not as hard as Steve (House) described it. We traversed directly on the highest spine and gained easier terrain. The conditions worsened as we climbed but we knew that soon we will be on top. Getting progressively slower we traversed towards the highest point and at 12:30pm we couldn´t believe it. We couldn´t climb higher, the summit. We had tears in our eyes as we embraced each other. We reached the end-and-highpoint of the last month and enjoyed the wonderful view overlooking the sea of fog of the Karakorum Mountains, where just the highest peaks poked through. Kunyang Chhish East is no longer unclimbed and a great project of the Karakorum is finally complete.

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Facts:

Alltitude of summit: 7400m

Height of face: 2700m

Exposition of face: Southwest

Team: Simon Anthamatten, Matthias Auer, Hansjörg Auer

First Ascent: 14th to 18th of July 2013

Previous attempts: 25th to 28th of June 2013 up to 7000m and 2nd of July 2013 up to 5600m (both by Simon and Hansjörg)

Time in Basecamp: 12th of June to 21th of July 2013

Period of expedition: 5th of June to 25th of July 2013

felderer_STORY.teller-44 Kopie

Baffin Island 2012

Big Wall Climbing in Baffin Island was a personal dream for many many years. A dream which was always in my mind, but simultanesly too far away to become reality. Baffin Island has the highest concentration of Big Walls on our planet.

But this year I put all the effort in organising a Baffin Expedition. And finally I experienced one of my craziest time in one of the most remote places of our world. During the 43 days in Base Camp we established four free climbing first ascents. ‘The Door’ (8b), a 16 pitches long route along the East Face of Belly Tower with a super hard crux pitch freed by Iker and me. Furthermore we opened ‘Hotel Gina’ (6b+) and ‘Hotel Monica’ (6b+) on the 45om high White Wall. The last route got the name ‘Levi is coming’ (6b/11 pitches) on the North East Pillar of Mt. Cook.

The climbing areas of Baffin Island has always been a place to make history. Legends like Doug Scott and Charlie Porter climbed the first major problems in the region of Mount Asgard in Weasel Valley in Auyuittuq National Park. But climbing on the East Coast is a different story. The logistic is much more complicated, the region is a way more remote, the temperatures are much lower and the polarbear is a serious fact to know. The knowledge of all this makes things not easier. But in the end all these facts are increasing the challenge of an expedition to the East Coast of Baffin Island.

I can’t tell you everything, but I want to share some thoughts with you out of my diary to the route „The Door“ on Belly Tower. The hardest free climb on Baffin’s East Coast with difficulties up to 8b.

Start of the route:

Stormy and cold. We stay our second night in the portaledge. Not in the wall, but on a big boulder at the entry of the wall. Yesterday we came up here. Ricky, Matteo, Ben and I have seen unbelievable rivers. Within days they became un-crossable. We had to look for a different way. Over the moraine on the western side towards strong headwind we walked up to the entry of the wall. Iker and Eneko waiting in the base Camp for our call. Today we managed to climb two pitches. Two pitches?! It was unbearable due to the strong, cold wind, after a while I did not feel my toes anymore, not to even mention my fingers. Not a good state to do technical climbing. When I reached the first stand I immediately went back into the portaledge to warm up. In the afternoon it was Ben’s turn, traversing to the right in difficult conditions. The two pitches today were very important. It was a tough fight under those circumstances but I hope that the weather will change soon.

First day of free climbing:

What a day! We free climbed the pitches till the end of the arch. I climbed pitches number 1 to 5, Iker did the 6th pitch. Four climbers working on the same project. The next day. Blue Sky. Iker and I are laying in the sun in front of our tent. Actually the weather report was correct, but the wall still looks wet. If everything goes as planned then Ben and Eneko will open the upper part of the route while Iker and I will free climb. But now it should get really difficult, the cracks above the arch are rounded with a hard move on the top.

Summit:

I lay in the sun right under the Eastern wall of the Belly Tower. I am super exhausted and very tired. Yesterday at 1pm we reached the peak, a really nice moment. The end of a long project, even though we are not at the end of our climbing. At 5 in the morning we started from basecamp, and everything went perfectly. The others let me open the last pitches to the peak. Now I only need to free climb the last key part of the route, I placed the bolt for it yesterday.

The day of free climbing the crux-pitch:

Oh yeah! Yesterday was a perfect day – Amazing. A spectacular ending at Belly Tower.On the fixed rope I go up to the key pitch of the route. I warm myself up. Iker will be my belayer. The mind game starts. I start to climb but cannot hold the key part. I try it again but cannot hold the edge of the roof. Oh my god. I take a break. Then I start again, I can barely hear the cheers from the guys at the bottom. Can this be real? But I stay surprisingly calm today, even if this would be the perfect moment to get nervous. I take off my jacket, today is the warmest day on the wall so far. Suddenly I can climb the move and I clip the second bolt. Now the scary part starts, the rest of the length to the stand is super technical and you cannot make a mistake here. But I feel really good and only once it gets critical when my left foot slips. After around 15 minutes I reach the stand. I am super happy. Amazing. It could not had a better ending than this. I hang at the stand and still cannot believe it. Within the last hour Iker and I have been able to free climb the last missing pitch and finished probably the hardest free climbing of Baffin Island. At around 9 in the evening we put down our 40 kg haulbags in the basecamp. What else can you say to an experience like this? Today we all sit together at basecamp, enjoying the sun and thinking back to the project. You can see a look of relief in our faces. Everybody is happy.

Thanks to all the sponsors and to all who were involved making this dream becoming true. Big thanks to Ben, Iker, Eneko and William. To Matteo Mocellin and Riky Felder for the pics.

Me high up on Trinidad Sur. Thanks for the great belay David ... © Heiko Wilhelm

Chochamo Valley 2008

Chochamo Valley with David Lama, Barbara Bacher, Katharina Saurwein, Heiko Wilhelm and Jorg Verhoeven. A series of new routes in this amazing granite valley, known as the “Yosemite of South America”.

The thoughts below, written by the climbing media at that time, are worth to read and a great sign, how climbing changed in a positive way as nowadays so many great competition climbers of the past are crushing alpine routes:

“What is striking is that – apart from Hansjörg Auer – these climbers are famous above all for their performances plastic (Verhoeven had just won the Lead World Cup 2008, Lama was Bouldering and Lead World Champion in 2007 etc.) and seeing them on expeditions and not at the crag is something fairly unheard of. However things may be, experience has shown that whenever these competition athletes decided to transport their strength and fitness onto rock, the result is always impressive. This was certainly the case in the where the six climbers managed the following first ascents, using a mix of nuts, normal pegs and, where necessary, bolts.”

Cochamo Valley First Ascents:

Meataholic – 7c+/450m Trinidad Sur – David Lama, Heiko Wilhelm and Hansjörg Auer

The Dutch Corner – 7c/550m Cerro Trinidad – Katharina Saurwein and Jorg Verhoeven

Robinson Crusoe – 7b /700m Elifante – Barbara Bacher, Katharina Saurwein, Jorg Verhoeven

Footsy Variation – 8a/1040m Cerro Trinidad – free version of Mucho Mucho El Granito by Katharina Saurwein and David Lama

Somedays Twice – 7c/440m Cerro Laguna – Barbara Bacher and Hansjörg Auer

The East Face of Shipton Spire in the early morning light. © Archiv Auer

Trango Valley 2006

Summer 2006. Together with Thomas Scheiber, Matthias Auer, Karl Dung and Ambros Sailer, I’ve spent 40 days in Pakistan’s Trango Valley. During this time period we established two new routes, “Winds of Change” on the East Face of the previous unclimbed Little Shipton (ca. 5400m), and a nameless mixed line graded M5 up Trango Peak (6545m). Furthermore we repeated a string of existing routes, including above all the first repeat of “Woman and Chalk” on Shipton Spire.

„Woman and Chalk“ ascends the central section of the 1200m high East Face of Shipton Spire. The route follows a long system of cracks and corners, starting from 4250m. After 14 pitches you reach the “Bed and Breakfast”, a small platform just about big enough for two portaledges, followed by the three hardest and most beautiful pitches. Difficulties ease off considerably in the upper section.

As many will remember, the line was first ascended by Italians Mauro Bubu Bole, Mario Cortese and Fabio Dandri in summer 2001 but terminated on the crest. We established fixed ropes in the lower section and then carried out an alpine-style rush to the summit adding eight pitches of predominantly mixed climbing via the route „Ship of Fools“.

After only two days of rest, Thomas and I made a two-day alpine-style ascent of legendary „Eternal Flame“ on Trango Tower to the top of the pillar and junction with the British route but didn’t continue to the summit due to an incoming storm. We climbed the approach couloir above Trango Basecamp in the morning, continued up the eight pitches to Sun Terrace in the afternoon, and after a bivouac reached our high point in eight hours the following day, negotiating rock difficulties up to 7b and A2.

Elsewhere, Matthias and Karl attempted The Flame via the American route “Under Fire”, climbed by Brian McMahon and Josh Wharton in 2002. However, bad conditions prevented them from reaching the summit.

They then climbed the normal route on Great Trango and later made the second known ascent of Trango II (6327m). Starting early on August 19 and traveling light, the pair climbed the huge couloir on the southwest flank that falls from just north of the summit to the Trango Glacier close to Shipton Basecamp. At two- thirds height they headed up right through a mixed section to the final summit ice field (55° and M5). The last four pitches proved to be the crux. They reached the summit at 2 p.m., rappelled and downclimbed their line of ascent partway, before bivouacking for the night. Next morning they made it back to camp.

Lastly together with my buddy Thomas I made the first ascent of a ca. 5400m tower dubbed ’Little Shipton’. This is the triangular wall to the right of, and just beyond, Shipton Spire. Despite the uninviting appearance of the east face, we found perfect steep rock. The central part of the wall overhangs, and lack of cracks forced us to start toward the right side. After four pitches we traversed right to focus on crack systems on the ridge. One crack followed another, and after some wonderfully enjoyable pitches we reached the highest point. We rappelled the route using mostly flakes and blocks but also placing four bolts. We climbed the 550m, 14-pitch “Winds of Change“ (7a+) alpine style in six hours.