By Alexander Yurkin, Russia. Supplied by Anna Piunova, www.mountain.ru
Trango Tower (6,239m), northwest face, No Fear.
In August Dmitry Golovchenko, Sergey Nilov, leader Viktor Volodin, and I, from the Moscow Mountaineering and Climbing Federation, planned to climb a new route on the north face of Trango Tower. However, prevailing conditions made the approach dangerous, and we opted for a new line on the northwest face.
Our route took 10 days to complete. We established three camps on the wall, living and working in pairs from two portaledges. On August 2 and 3 we fixed five ropes on the initial section and on the 5th hauled up all our gear and continued capsule style for eight days. During the first four to five days the weather was clear and relatively warm considering the altitude. Later it deteriorated, becoming colder and then snowing, and by the day of the summit push, it was quite bad. We didn’t wait, as the forecast was for worse weather, and on the 12th we jumared our ropes and climbed above to the summit. We returned to our top camp and on the 13th descended to advanced base, below the wall, which was being manned by Sergey Kotachkov.
The entire route, especially the lower and middle sections, features many corners and overhangs, some of them large. The rock is mainly monolithic, and there was much aid climbing. We climbed 1,120m. We named the route No Fear (900m, 6b+ A3), the slogan of the famous Moscow climbing club Demchenko, of which we are all members.
Editor’s Note: This route on the 900m northwest face, the first Russian route on Trango Tower, follows a large corner system to the right of Insumisioa, until joining it on a large sloping snow terrace at three-fifths height (site of the third and highest Russian portaledge camp). From here it appears to follow similar ground to Insumisioa to reach a smaller snow terrace at four-fifths height. Above, it climbs left of Insumisioa to the summit. No Fear is the first largely independent line to be established on the spire for over a decade. Insumisioa (VI 6a A3+) was put up in 1995 by Basque trio Antonio Aquerreta, Fermin Izco and Mikel Zabalza. The name is a Basque term referring to dodging the draft of the Spanish Military Service, which remained compulsory during the 1990s. The three climbers were avoiding national service during their expedition.