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On September 10th, Bob Keaty (USA) and I set out to summit The Dragon’s Tooth (~5200m), an unclimbed pinnacle towering over remote Bipeng Valley in north-central Sichuan, China. To the best of our knowledge, only one other attempt had ever been made at this striking objective. Our efforts ended a week later at the base of a virgin granite wall adjacent to the pinnacle, heavy rains soaking the surrounding countryside and making vertical progress impossible. With these and many new alpine features appearing in the vicinity of Siguniang (“Four Sisters”) Mountain, we hope that our attempt will not be the last.

 

p1060310 (Modified in GIMP Image Editor)

The Dragon's Tooth (unclimbed, 5200m) on the right.

 

 

 

Bob hauling kit to our Halfway House, the large boulder/cave in the foreground.

Bob hauling kit to our "Halfway House," the large boulder/cave in the foreground.

 

Ground support in Sichuan is available from Jon Otto at ArĂȘte Alpine in Chengdu. See Bob’s blog for further details. For additional beta, please leave a comment.

Coming soon…

On August 10th, Geoff Evatt and I established a 7 pitch alpine route on a minor pinacle of a nameless peak on the west rim of Chhattru Valley, Himachal Pradesh, India. We had come to the Indian Himalaya as part of the HotRock climbing expedition, having spent the previous 8 days adjusting to the altitude, bouldering, and sipping masala chai.

Our approach started at 5:00am under clear skies. Geoff lead off our first two pitches sometime after 8:00am. They were characterized by sustained climbing in the 5.8 range, followed by a grassy 4th-class scramble to establish a solid belay below a chossy roof. Geoff then completed a nerve-racking traverse in muddy shoes and, once I’d managed to meet him, I took the rack. This would be my first pitch of trad leading. It started with a very airy V3 boulder sequence to gain a ledge, and followed with sustained 5.7 climbing to a nice, grassy belay stand.

I also led the following pitch, a full 50m of unprotectable slab, placing only 2 pieces the entire length. (I hate slab.) Geoff then put up a very nice 5.10 sequence through a cramped chimney to gain the summit ridge. We scrambled the remaining 30m to achieve our 4200m top-out at around 3:15pm.

Then it started pouring. We faced a miserable series of rappels on slung boulders and a long, wet descent. We returned to an empty camp around 5:00pm and immediately started hitching for Manali. We caught up with the rest of the HotRock gang there sometime after 10:00pm.

Geoff grades The Persuasion of the Fairer Sex a British trad HVS/E1, alpine D+. See his post on RockClimbing.com.

About to get hosed by The Persuasion of the Fairer Sex

About to get hosed by "The Persuasion of the Fairer Sex"

visual transitivity

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