Sunday, 15 January 2012

The cool stuff that went down 2011

Lots of rankings and lists are published at the end of each year. Then in March the Oscars of Alpinism is held in Chmonix under the flag of the Piolet d'Or. The following ascents in 2011 inspired me and I list them in no specific order. I guess we all have our own private preferences and no universally true list is possible to agree on but for sure some ascents I think pushed climbing forward or just transpired inspiration.


1. Style, Speed & Spirit on the East Face of Fitz Roy

The free ascent of the 1350meter, El Corazon on the East Face of Fitz Roy in Patagonia, by Belgian climbers Nicolas Favresse and Sean Villanueva with a variation to avoid the A4 crux pitch. Unreal impressive. Belowe a picture of the mighty East Face.

2. Hard core cold on G1 in winter

The First winter ascent of an 8000 meter peak in Pakistan by Simone Moro, Cory Ricards and Denis Urubko. Done in light cool style. No fuss well executed. And the most impressive, the film and photos shot by Cory.

3. Determination pays dividen on K2

This award has to go to Vassily Pivtsov, Maxut Zumayev who finally with Gerlinde Kaltenbrunner bagged K2 via the rarely climbed NW ridge from China in a NO 02 light style expedition. All 14 8000 meter peaks have been bagged by this trio in exceptional style.

4. Vision mission on Torre Egger

This has to be awarded to Bjørn-Eivind Årtun, the Norwegian alpinist who in December 2011 together with Ole Lied established the route Venas Azules up the South Face of Torre Egger in Patagonia. A line that many looked at but few dared even imagine to try. That ice looks as cool and futuristica as the Gadd/Emmet ice route Spray Away.

5. Staying Power on Trango

The shear will to get the job done and the route climbed was put on by the girls who established a great looking new route up Trango Tower. The girsl spent 38 days on the wall! Not bad and the line looks so nice.

6. So close yet so far, Caldwell on Daw Wall

Year after year they are up there in the fall trying not only to free the rout but I guess also them self by now from the daunting project on El Cap. With thousands of followers and live coverage of the progress this was a nail biter with an interesting debate about blogging live from efforts in the hill that reach as far as toe the NY Times!

7. One Down whats next from Mayan?

On October 3rd, New Zealand’s Mayan Smith-Gobat free the iconic Salathé Wall (5.13b) on Yosemite’s El Capitan. This was no small feat and here second year trying. Last year Ben Dito shot some amazing photos of Mayan working the route that really inspired me to one day try a free big wall.

8. Shark Attack on Meru...

One can only lift the hat for this super cool climb. What a line what an effort. Anker, Ozturk and Chin performed on there second attempt on this majestic mountain.

9. What a season Korra pulled off!

Korra Pesce, has bagged a life time of wishes in a season and his understated style an low key approach to his passion is some thing may of us should be influenced by. We might not share views on some topics buts things he has pointed out are thing that got me think about alpine grading.

10. Community Service award for Giving back by Stve House

Apply and get up to speed by the best for the best.

The rest of the cool stuff...