This week's ticklist is a very mixed bag of high mountain ascents in Pakistan, a Red Rocks speed record by Alex Honnold and some hard Euro bouldering...
First Ascent of K6 Central (7155m) & Third Ascent of K6 West by Jeff and Priti Wright
Seattle-based husband-and-wife team Jeff and Priti Wright are dark horses in the mountaineering world, but they have just returned from a trip to Pakistan where they made the first ascent of K6 central and the third ascent of K6 west. The Americans are taking a break from work this year and are enjoying a climbing sabbatical, which they seem to be making the most of despite the hurdles of 2020, having also made some major ascents in Patagonia and the European Alps earlier this year. It's been a quiet time for the Karakorum and high altitude mountaineering in general, but Jeff and Priti's ascent is surely the most significant of 2020. Stay tuned for an in-depth UKC interview with the couple, and check out Priti's photos and videos of the trip in the meantime...
The rain cleared, and we started drying out all of our stuff. Once the rain stopped, it looked like we had landed in paradise! Everything was green and vibrant. The peaks glistened. The clouds billowed. And the cows mooed. We couldn't see our objective, K6, from basecamp, so we were anxious to go see for ourselves.
Sani Pakkush South Face (6951m) First Ascent by Symon Welfringer and Pierrick Fine
Also in Pakistan, this French duo made the first ascent of the South Face of Sani Pakkush, naming their line Revers Gagnant
2500m ED+ 90° / M4+ / WI4+. The pair took five days to summit, making possibly only the second ascent of the peak following a successful summit in 1991 by a German team.
Happiness Therapy On October 19th at around 2pm, together with @pierrick_fine we managed to stand on the summit of Sani Pakkush at 6953m. We spent 4 days ascending the massive 2500m South face of the mountain. We get through lots of different terrain from exhausting never ending snow slopes to more technical pitches of mixed and ice climbing. As a result, it gives Revers gagnant 2500m ED+ 90° / M4+ / WI4+ This name refers that we played against all odds by choosing to go to Pakistan without any long reflections and at a season supposed to be bad for alpinism. On the contrary we met some amazing weather conditions during all our ascent, hopefully our face was south because temperatures we're very low getting to -30°C during nights. After an early start at 2am from our basecamp on the first day, we met the first difficulties at an altitude of 5000m at the very beginning of the face, with some sustain ice pitches. Then follow some more easy terrains of snow and mixed climb. At around 5600m we made one of the hardest pitches of M4+/M5 to find a little platform and make an uncomfortable bivy. On the second day we managed to get high up on the face and made two awesome pitches of pure ice. At around 6200m we look for a desperate bivy sport but never find it. Finally we wait for the sun to come back sitted on a rock. On the third day, we were really exhausted after two bad bivys. We decided to put our tent at an altitude of 6400m on the summit ridge where we find a nice and comfortable crevasse to have a proper rest. On October the 19th, we decided to make a summit with almost no gear. We let our bivy in place and went for the last 500m on the snowy summit ridge. With a constantly changing quality, it was harder and harder to go up the summit but after 7 hours of hard work sometimes digging into powder snow. We arrived at 14pm completely exhausted on the Sani Pakkush summit at 6953m. We spend our last day going down this massive face of 2500m, switching between rappelling (20-25) and downclimbing. On the late afternoon of october 20th, we made it safely back to basecamp empty of all our energy and lots of emotions in our minds.
Alex Honnold sets Speed Record on Epinephrine 5.9 in Tribute to Brad Gobright
Having set a speed record on the classic 600m Red Rocks (Nevada) 5.9 Epinephrine that was later broken by Brad Gobright, who passed away last year, Alex Honnold returned to break Brad's record in a tribute of sorts to his friend. Alex beat Brad's time of 38 minutes 15 seconds with a time of 34:51. Honnold wrote on Instagram:
'After he died, I thought maybe he should just keep the record indefinitely as a nice tribute. But as the season has changed this year I haven't been able to resist taking a few laps up the route, just to see...Today I did 34:51, and I feel an urge to thank Brad for the continuing motivation.'
I've been thinking about @bradgobright a lot lately - something about hiking briskly in fall temps always reminds me of him. Each day that I hike to the sport crag I think, "Brad would love this crag." Last year Brad climbed Epinephrine, the classic 2000ft Red Rock 5.9, in 38:15 (or so), breaking my previous record of 40 something. After he died, I thought maybe he should just keep the record indefinitely as a nice tribute. But as the season has changed this year I haven't been able to resist taking a few laps up the route, just to see... Today I did 34:51, and I feel an urge to thank Brad for the continuing motivation. I appreciate him getting me up early one more time to go outside and try my hardest on something big. I miss Brad, but at least he's still here pushing me, after a manner. Also, thanks to the various parties who've let me play through on the route this season. Especially the nice folks today - it must be a bit strange for a panting, sweaty man to climb right over you in the middle of a wall... @samuelcrossley portrait of Brad. My pic of the wall from the way down, and I accidentally mis-cropped my timer pic, but I did the hike in/transition in 30, the climb in 34, and the stroll down in 55...
Ground Up Ascents of The Young
Cal Coldwell-Storry and Alex Moore have climbed The Young (Font 8A) at Callaly ground-up. These were the first ground-up repeats of Andy Earl's full line, which takes a direct approach at the top of the tombstone-like buttress in Northumberland.
Below is a video of Niall McNair who repeated the climb a few weeks ago:
Another Font 8B+ for Isabelle Faus
Isabelle Faus has made the first ascent of a new Font 8B+ in the Camp Dick Cave, Colorado. She has called the problem 'The Emasculator' and it 12 moves into the existing Circle Jerk (Font 8B), followed by a rest and then a Font 7B. Faus completed the problem before the National Park sadly closed due to huge forest fires.
The problem was her third 8B+ this year and fifth overall.
Did a thing last week,, in the camp dick cave... gonna call it "the emasculator" V14.. adds a 12 move traverse into circle jerk... prolly v11 to a rest, into a v12, another rest and then exit in a v8,, hard to grade honestly. but certainly harder than circle jerk. 40 moves. more importantly everything is on fire...the park and national forest is closed, and thousands of people are evacuated.. stressful time on the front range right now.. ready for winter, let it snow... like everyday please.. swipe to see the Cal-Wood fire come down the hill. Pic of me is the crux of the Boulder
Vadim Timonov climbs new Font 8C/+
Russian beast Vadim Timonov has climbed a new Font 8C/+ in the Caucasus area, Southern Russia. The area is in the foothills of Mt Elbrus at an altitude of 2200m.
Timinov has named the problem 'Low Priora' and believes it is his hardest climb to date. He has previously climbed ten Font 8Cs.
🔥Low Priora 8C/+ On the last day of our trip to Caucasus, I made the ascent it feels like hardest boulder I've ever climbed. The potential of the Dantugan region is impressive! I will definitely come back there. video coming soon!😉 ••• Low Priora 8C/+ В последний день нашего путешествия на Кавказ я залез сложнейшую по ощущениям трассу, которую когда либо пролезал, поэтому дам такую категорию. Спасибо @kwtrio за наводку к этому камню и чистку его до блеска😉 9 дней лазания подряд, десятки новых трасс, Джантуган поразил своим потенциалом для боулдеринга. Обязательно вернусь сюда еще😉 Видео будет скоро! @tenayaclimbing @adidasterrex @climb_hub @climbskinspain @27cragsofficial #rockclimbing #bouldering #climbing #klettern #bouldern #djantuganbouldering #скалолазание #эльбрус #elbrus #climbinglife
Font 8C for Théo Ravanello
French climber Théo Ravanello has climbed his first Font 8C with an ascent of Clément Lechaptois' Malédiction assis in Rioupéroux in Isère, an area not too far from Grenoble. The problem adds a sit start to a Julien Nadiras 8B and features a high, scary slab at the top which Ravanello had to tackle in the wet!
Aujourd'hui l'alienerie a frappé dans la vallée de Riouperoux 👽 "Malédiction" sit-start [8c/V15] 2nd ascent 😀 je crois bien qu'il y a une réelle malédiction avec ce bloc... la petite histoire c'est qu'aujourd'hui rien n'était fait pour enchaîner ce bloc, c'était trempé, j'ai percé du doigt au premier essai de la journée, j'ai mal à un doigt depuis une semaine et j'avais pas vraiment la tête libre en pensant au reta de fin qui était complètement mouillé qui doit valoir 7a bloc! Même après avoir "séché" les prises à la corde 🌊😰 J'ai forcé le destin on va dire, j'avais envie, envie de le faire ! J'ai réussi, je suis supeeeer content d'avoir réalisé cette ligne qui propose des mouvements atypiques et une exigeance sur toute l'escalade qu'il faut fournir ! 👌🏼 une belle alienerie 👽 Et merci du fond du pec à @miquelmathieu pour la parrade ! 🙏🏼🤣 . . FA @clem_lechap 👽 . . @performe_fr @myleoremagnesie @symplesbio #uncut#bouldering_videos_of_instagram#climbing_is_my_life#climbing_lovers#climbing_is_my_passion#boulderinglife#bouldering_is_my_passion#escalade#rockclimbing#riouperoux#myleoremagnesie#performe#training#alienisezvous