Slovaks Dodo Kopold and Gabo Čmárik have climbed an enormous new rock route on the southwest side of 20,460-foot Great Trango Tower in Pakistan. The Slovaks are still traveling and Climbing has not been able to reach them directly, but the route takes a line to the right of the Azeem Ridge, the 7,500-vertical-foot route pioneered last summer by Americans Kelly Cordes and Josh Wharton.
Climbers in Slovakia said the arcing route involved 90-plus pitches and was graded UIAA 8 A2 (roughly 5.11+ A2). The climb took eight days, from August 4 to 11. The Slovaks carried no sleeping bags and climbed alpine style, and they fought poor weather during the climb and dangerous avalanche conditions while descending the peak’s western slopes. Kopold was avalanched several hundred feet but apparently was unharmed.
Kopold and Čmárik were part of a Slovak expedition to the same area last year. Kopold and two partners made an alpine-style second ascent of the American route Khanadan Buttress on Shipton Spire, and Čmárik was part of a team that nearly climbed a new route on the spire.