Late-Season Firsts on Nameless Tower

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Hands after Nameless Tower.Photos courtesy of Andrej Grmovsek

Late-Season Firsts on Nameless Tower

Chasing rumors of stable late-season weather for rock climbing, a Slovenian expedition found plenty of storms but still managed some very notable ascents in Pakistan’s Trango Towers, including the first one-day ascent and first all-female ascent of Nameless Tower.

Slovenian aces Andrej Grmovsek and Silvo Karo acclimatized with several new routes, including the first ascent of two rock spires in the Uli Biaho group (ca. 15,750 feet and 18,365 feet) and an ascent of the normal route on Great Trango Tower (20,623 feet). Then, with snow blanketing the higher peaks, they decided to attempt a one-day ascent of the sunny and relatively dry Eternal Flame on 20,469-foot Trango “Nameless” Tower.

Starting at 4 a.m. on September 8, the two reached the prominent shoulder at the base of the steepest climbing in four hours, said hello to seven friends who were in the middle of their own attempts on the tower, and continued up, with the leader free climbing up to 5.12b and the second jumaring. At 2 p.m., a snowstorm pinned them on a ledge on the 19th pitch for half an hour, and then they were able to continue up the final six steep pitches, with more aiding due to cold and snow. At the summit ridge, they encountered snowed-up mixed terrain and, with the leader in ice gear and the second in sneakers, they took nearly three hours to carefully climb the ridge (up to M5) to the top, which they reached just before midnight. Four hours of rappelling through the night brought them back to the start of the route, 24 hours after beginning.

Aleksandra Voglar, Tina Di Batista, and Tanja Grmovsek after their alpine-style ascent of Nameless Tower.Photos courtesy of Andrej Grmovsek

Late-Season Firsts on Nameless Tower

This is likely the first one-day ascent of Nameless Tower. Last summer, Micah Dash, Nick Martino, and Renan Ozturk blasted up the same route in just 12 hours to the summit ridge, but were unable to climb to the summit because of a violent snowstorm.

Meanwhile, after acclimatizing by climbing their own rock routes and Great Trango Tower, the all-female team of Tina Di Batista, Tanja Grmovsek, and Aleksandra Voglar made an alpine-style ascent of Eternal Flame at 5.11 A2 on Nameless Tower, reaching the summit late on the third day of climbing. This is likely the first all-woman ascent of the peak. Di Batista made the first all-female ascent of Fitz Roy in 2004, and Grmovsek did the first all-woman climb of Cerro Torre the following year; each woman was partnered with Monika Kambic Mali for those ascents.

Another team of four young Slovenian climbers is still in Pakistan, but Andrej Grmovsek reports they have had their own successes, with an ascent of the Slovenian Route on Nameless Tower (two of them free climbing) and ascents of Great Trango Tower, Little Trango Tower, and Trango Monk. Comment on this story