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Infinity Direct on Denali. Photo courtesy of Valery Babanov.
Valery Babanov and Raphael Slawinski have climbed a new route on Denali in single-push style. Infinity Direct takes the plumb line up a large, southwest-facing wall below Denali’s West Rib, joining the rib crest at about 15,800 feet after 5,500 vertical feet of climbing.The two men climbed the line in a 14-hour push, with difficulties up to M4 or M5; they simulclimbed about half the route. They had intended to carry on up easier ground on the Upper West Rib to reach Denali’s summit, but a rapidly rising storm caused them to traverse off to the 14,200-foot camp on the West Buttress, which took them hours to find in fog and whiteout.Babanov attempted the same face in 2004 with Fabrizio Zangrilli but was driven off by storm.