Americans Complete Meru Shark's Fin


The northeast side of Meru Central, with two previous lines marked on the Shark's Fin. An American trio has now completed the direct route up the main pillar. Photo courtesy of czechclimbing.com

10/5/11 - Conrad Anker, Jimmy Chin, and Renan Ozturk have completed the direct line up Meru Shark's Fin, a stunning granite buttress on the northeast side of 6,310-meter Meru Central in the Gangotri mountains of India.

According to posts at the expedition's Meru Eleven Facebook page and other sources, the team started climbing around September 21 and made the summit of the tower on October 2. They returned to base camp safely two days later.

Although the Shark's Fin had been climbed several times by mixed ice and rock routes to the right of the main prow, the direct line had defeated numerous expeditions. Anker had attempted this route twice, including an attempt in 2008 with Chin and Ozturk that pushed the line within 150 meters of the summit after 20 days of climbing. Ozturk later made a prize-winning film, Samsara, about that expedition.

In early September this year, Anker told Climbing: "I'm off to Meru on Monday. Third time is a charm. Redpoint burns on a Himalayan wall…"

Dates of ascent: September-October 2011

Sources: Meru Eleven, climbing.com

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