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Nov 102017

Autumn continues to be exciting in the climbing world with the 2017 Piolet d’Or awards, new routes on very remote and technical peaks plus valiant efforts on 8000er.

First up are the 8000ers, and its not good news on any of them.

Lhotse – Waiting but not hopeful

South Korean, Sung-Taek Hong and Spanish climber Jorge Egocheaga are attempting Lhotse’s South Face. They posted an update saying they had established Camp 3 (7,800m) on Oct 17th  and Camp 4 (8,250m) on Oct 18th and then made a summit attempt at the end of October. They established a Camp 4  at 8250 meters (27,066 ft)  before turning back due to poor conditions. This is the same story as in previous years. I’m told by Mingma Sherpa they are back in base camp considering another try.

The only time this route has been climbed was in October 1990 by Russian climbers Serguey Bershov and Vladimir Karataev according to the Himalayan Database. Sung has attempted it in 2013, 2014 and 2015.

Annapurna – Over

Slovenian duo Luka Stražar and Nejc Marčič have given up after suffering frostbite. They were climbing the normal route on the West Face of Annapurna in alpine style. They are posted this update on their site:

Annapurna (8091 m) said no to Luka Stražar and Nejc Marcic. Frostbites forced our Slovenian guys – that won the Piolet d’Or for their ascent on K7 West – to abandon their alpine style dream on the extremely difficult west face of the 10th peak of the world. In the last months Luka and Nejc trained and worked a lot for realizing this huge project, so they are now really disappointed. But they are also more experienced and ready to start new great adventures, as Luka explains in his interesting report.

You can read the full report at their site.

Manaslu – A Lot of Snow

Hans Kammerlander on Manaslu and posted an update basically saying nothing had changed. They are still at base camp waiting for the new snow to settle and unsure about conditions up high. I assume they will give it a go before abandoning their effort all together.

6000 and 7000 Meter Peaks

Some serious technical climbing is happening all through the world with a first and second ascents of 6000 meter peaks.

Phungi Peak – First Ascent

Yury Koshelenko and Aleksei Lonchinskii did first ascent of Phungi Peak (6538) in Nepal – SE face direct. It is west of Manaslu in Nepal.

Pandra Peak – Second Ascent

Located near Kanchenjunga, Pandra at 6,700 meter Mathieu Détrie, Pierre Labbre and Benjamin Védrines climbed the northeast face Peine plancher, a technical route that combines stretches of corridors with sections of ice. Though it is same wall, they took a new  line than the one followed by the Japanese in their attempt of 2016. source:

Mt Edgar

Mt. Edgar at 6618 m was summited by a six meter Italian team on two different routes. It is in the Chinese province of Sichuan. Once again, Desnivel has all the details.

2017 Piolet d’Or

The annual “Academy Awards for climbing” – the Piolet d’Or occurred in Grenoble France on 8 November 2017.

There were two “Golden Axes” presented. The first to Britons Paul Ramsden and Nick Bullock for their first ascent of  Nyainqentangla South East at 7046m in Tibet. They climbed via the North Face. Take a read from the link of Nick’s report – it’s fascinating.


The North Buttress of Nyainqentangla South East first ascent by Paul Ramsden/Nick Bullock. 1600m. ED+
Descent via the East Ridge into the South Valley. October 2nd and back into the valley, 8th.

The second Piolet d’Or was awarded to Russian climbers Dmitry Golovchenko, Dmitry Grigoriev and Sergey Nilov for a direct route on the north buttress of Thalay Sagar in the Indian Himalaya at 6904m. This was a first ascent. Turn up the volume on your computer (or mute it if at work and enjoy this video!!) Thanks to Stefan Nestler for the story.

Reel Rocks 2017

If you like climbing movies, absolutely, positively see the Reel Rocks 2017 tour. I saw it last night with climbing buddies Jim Davidson and Rodney Ley at Colorado State University. Amazing set of four short films that captures some amazing passion around rock climbing. Here is the trailer:

Climb On!
Memories are everything


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  One Response to “Himalayan Autumn Updates”


    What climbs this year do you think are strong contenders for the Piolet d’Or?