Huge All-Free Route in Indian Himalaya

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Huge All-Free Route in Indian Himalaya

Britons Tim Emmett and Ian Parnell have climbed a gigantic new route on 22,408-foot Kedar Dome in the Garhwal Himal area of northern India. The two climbed the Southeast Pillar of the peak in alpine style, with no aid, in seven days, followed by two days of descent. Emmett onsighted the crux 5.11 corner at around 20,000 feet, telling www.planetfear.com, “It's definitely the most demanding piece of climbing that I've managed without falls, like climbing Zukator [a classic North Wales rock climb] with a rucksac and a plastic bag over my head.” They graded the 6,500-foot route ED+ 6c (5.11) M3.

Two other routes are known to have been established on the east side of Kedar Dome, but neither reached the summit. A Hungarian team climbed the prominent rock rib right of the British route in 1989 but did not continue up the snow ridge to the top of the peak, around 2,000 feet higher; a Polish team reportedly climbed the big wall further right in the late 1990s, but also did not summit. The Emmett-Parnell route thus is the first full-length and first alpine-style climb on this major face.

Remarkably, although Parnell is highly experienced in the greater ranges, this was Emmett’s first trip to the Himalaya, and only his second alpine climb, according to an interview with Parnell on www.planetmountain.com. “I knew he’d be a great partner, as he’s so continually enthusiastic, as well as being one of the UK’s top adventure climbers,” Parnell told the web site.

Sources:www.planetmountain.com/english/news/; www.planetfear.com; American Alpine Journal

Dates of Ascent: October 1-9, 2006Comment on this story

Ian Parnell (left) and Tim Emmett on top of Kedar Dome.Courtesy of Tim Emmett/www.planetmountain.com

Huge All-Free Route in Indian Himalaya