Two Russian teams have completed big-wall routes on the enormous Northwest Face of Great Trango Tower in Pakistan. A four-man team climbed a new line on the right side of the 2,000-meter wall in six days, free climbing about three-quarters of the route. This line appears to cross the right shoulder of the wall and join the Azeem Ridge (Cordes-Wharton, 2004) in its upper half, ending below Great Trango's southwest summit (ca 6,250 meters). A second, six-man group took 11 days to complete a long, difficult route on the left side of the face that had nearly been climbed by a Ukrainian team in 2003. After several stormy nights at their high portaledge camp, the Russians pushed to the southwest summit on July 16. Four Ukrainian climbers had completed 46 pitches of this route, within about 100 vertical meters of the summit, before retreating due to exhaustion and lack of food and fuel.
Great Trango’s Northwest Face previously had three roughly parallel routes in the center of the wall, all climbed in 1999 by American, German, and Russian teams.
Following their successes on Great Trango, the team of young climbers from central Russian has now moved to Broad Peak’s base camp, hoping to gain 8,000-meter experience.
Team tactics: Tiny climbers on a big wall, Northwest Face of Great Trango Tower.Photo courtesy of www.russianclimb.com.
Date of Ascents: July 2007