New Route in Trango Towers


A small international team has climbed a major new route on what’s believed to be Trango II (20,758 feet), a peak adjacent to Nameless Tower in Pakistan. Jonathan Clearwater (New Zealand), Jeremy Frimer (Canada) and Sammy Johnson (U.S.) climbed a 5,500-foot rock line on the western buttress of the peak alpine-style. In an email from Pakistan, Johnson said the route is “basically two big buttresses stacked on top of one another, with some gendarmed, horizontal, knifey ridge between the first two and between the second and the summit snowfield.” Johnson added that the route required “lots of hard and significantly runout climbing. It took five days, with storms four of the five (and) two days without food.” They called the route Severance Ridge (VI 5.11 A2 AI3 M5).

Backed by a Lyman Spitzer Climbing Grant from the American Alpine Club, the team had hoped to climb a new route on 20,040-foot Uli Biaho but switched to Trango II after not getting up their intended line.