December 18, 2008

Diamond Arete 2005: Second Ascent

Here is an update to a link to another past expedition. In 2005, Freddie Wilkinson and I made the second ascent of the Jack Tackle/Jim Donini route the Diamond Arete on Mount Hunter's East face, then traversing over the mountain to descend the West Ridge in a total time of 55 hours to Kahiltna base camp, including two bivies. We found difficulties up to AI5 M6 over the course of the 2000m route. The route is notorious because of the epic nature of its first ascent: Jack and Jim spent nine days in marginal conditions climbing the route ground-up, in alpine style, having lost a rope in the process (limiting their descent options). They then descended Hunter's North Ridge and rappelled what has recently become known as the 'mini-moonflower' buttress in another day.

This experience taught us both something about commitment. Freddie is a talented alpinist, and it was great fun climbing with him on this route. Freddie commented that often, the biggest steps that we take in climbing a large route in alpine style are in the process of choosing to commit to the style and strategy that you have chosen, and to face the fears which accompany decision-making in the mountains. Please visit the link to my Diamond Arete 2005 blog for further information.

December 4, 2008

Trango and Latok Expedition Slideshows

December 11th at 7:00 PM, I will be giving a slideshow at UAF's Schaible Auditorium covering two separate expeditions to the Karakoram mountains of Pakistan. The slideshow on the Trango Towers expedition covers our widely publicized first ascent of Severance Ridge (VI 5.11 [5.10+ X] A2 AI3 M5) on Trango II (6327m). The slideshow on the Latok expedition documents our two attempts (climbing to AI3 M7) at the first complete ascent of the Northwest Ridge of Latok II (7200m), and touches on my friends' first ascent of The Outside Penguin (V 5.10 A1) on 'Karim Peak' (5700m). Please visit the links below for more information on these two expeditions:

Latok Group
Trango Towers (2005):

Here are several teaser photos from these expeditions. Enjoy!

Photo: Jeremy Frimer

Above: Some really cute Balti kids in the village of Askole. We played games with these little guys, including some magic tricks that they got a kick out of, though they appeared to believe that they should be getting money and candy.

Left: Here is my buddy Jonathon Clearwater (NZ) suffering on 'The Shield' headwall of Severance Ridge at approximately 5900m elevation. This golden headwall offered splitter free climbing, tenuous clean aid, and a monster pendulum.

Photo: Jeremy Frimer

Right: Here I am at approximately 6000m, suffering from bloody fingers due to way too much coarse golden granite, en route to 2 1/2 days more climbing without much food.

Photo: Jeremy Frimer

Below: Latok II (7200m). We attempted this peak twice, reaching approximately 5900m on two attempts starting from 4700m.