From Will Sim today, "feeling skinny after three long days and two long nights on the Jorasses, now time for a big SIESTA."
Which I would suspect means he and Jon Griffith just did another note worthy ascent of the Grand Jorasses, this one, No Seista, VI+ WI5 M8 E5. Congrads gentlemen!
"No Siesta is very long and demanding ( 1100 m, VI +, WI5 and M8): probably one of the hardest, free, mixed climbing, big wall routes in the Alps."
Keep an eye out on their respective blogs for the updates and pictures:
double click for the full photo
photo courtesy of Jon Griffith
These two continue to rip it up in the alpine in a quite and unassuming manner. Bravo.
More here on a 2003 ascent by Robert Jasper of Germany and Markus Stofer of Switzerland:
speaking of big wall climbs,have you read any about the russian ascent of the trango tower(nameless)? they r the most magnificent walls in the world.
I have...but the way the Russians generally climb big walls up high is not a style of climbing I care to highlight on the blog. Difficult no doubt but sporting and alpinism? That is another question all together.
Steve House..and a sentiment I agree with:
"I maintain that the Russians' ascent of the north face of Jannu is irrelevant to modern alpinism.”
Carlos Buhler a long time friend. So I know some of the details through conversations with him.
Dane, I think there's been an unfair degree of mischaracterization regarding the new Russian team route on Trango (largely due to a poorly-chosen headline from Alpinist). The reported information is that they fixed a few pitches at the start and then went capsule-style up the wall: pretty standard big-wall technique on Trango/El Cap/Cerro Torre/Torres del Paine/etc where there's a lot of aid climbing (fundamentally different than more alpine/mixed objectives like the aforementioned Jannu). As Andy Kirkpatrick (not exactly a siege climber in the alpine...) put it in the alpinist comments section "if this climb was done by a US or Euro team it would have been labelled capsule-style".
Julian, I have no doubt that the Russian big wall climbs are difficult, dangerious adventures.
It is easy to cut to the chase on ethics. You either leave objectives to be done in a better style or you climb everything in what ever style you are capable of now.
I obviously haven't climbed any thing close to the objectives under discussion. But I long ago realised I could climb damn near anything if I didn't care about the style I did it in and had the time.
I saw my local crags get trashed by the same basic thought process imo for leaving fixed line on Jannu.
Russian teams have done some amazing climbs as have every other country in the world. But I will give it to House on this one.
Leave no trace and I am good with your style. Leave garabage in the mountains because "you didn't want to risk lives" simply tells me you brought the climbing objective down to your level and most importantly, and so obvious, you were in over your head. And at some point didn't give a shit what you left behind. It is simple. We have finite resources. We owe the next generations more.
Anything else is us, as climbers, simply being arrogant, egotistical pin heads.
The most recent route on Trango, No Fear, VII (F 6b+), A3, while a difficult route, was no more or less than dozens of climbs done like it in the last couple of decades. Uli Biaho in 1979 comes to mind from 32 YEARS ago and done in alpine style iirc.
Dane, I pretty much agree with everything you said there, I was more just trying to point out that from the actual details supplied, this climb doesn't deserve to get lumped in with ones like the siege on Jannu where the entire wall was fixed and all the ropes where left up there. My lines of this sort get climbed capsule-style with portaledges. So I agree it that doesn't really fit the sort of content you talk about regularly on this blog, but also don't think there's anything particularly negative about it (in particular, like the other commentators on Alpinist's newswire I think that Alpinist was being unfair and somewhat stereotypical by labeling it a "siege").
Now, if did want a climb from Russian/Soviet climbers worth talking about, I think
is a bit more appropriate. ;) Denis Urubko might be the most bad-ass alpinist in the world who gets little to no press in North America.
well said dane. well said. i love and respect how you don't like bolts, makes this blog just that much better. Mark twight doesn't even mention bolts in his book "Extreme Alpinism". mark just quotes messner"murder of the impossible" best book ever.
Bolts are one thing...fixed lines are another.
It boils down for me to, would you do this at your local area...with people watching? If you wouldn't why do it in the wilderness?
Not all russians climb in true "russian style" some even go fast and light. Valeri Babanov's and Sergey Kofanov's ascent of the NW ridge of Jannu characterizes this newer approach according to a interview:
Babanov carried one fixed ropes and no fixed camps - that’s what alpine style is all about, right? We only had 2 ropes (5 mm and 8 mm), 7 ice-screws, 12 pegs, a set of nuts, 4 snowstakes and a few cams. We used a very light tent (1 kg) and a very light double sleeping bag (800 g), 5 cartridges of EPI-gas and 8-day provision of food. Our backpacks were about 20 kilos each.
Keep in mind they spent 8 days on the ridge.
I hope more Russian climbers start climbing in this style. I think for Russian standards the ascent of the ridge was very visionary, especially after the "russian big wall project" defaced many of the great alpine walls of the world.
No question you can't paint all Russian climbing with the "big wall project". They have done some amazing things in all aspects of the sport.
There was a time when the Americans were considered "pigs" on the mtn by the Euro crowd as well. It all eventually sorts its self out.
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