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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"

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