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Watch the Moscow alpine team—Dmitry Golovchenko, Dmitry Grigoriev, and Sergey Nilov—make the first ascent of Moveable Feast on Thalay Sagar (6,904m) in the Indian Himalaya. The team climbed the route over 10 days, and opted not to bring a portaledge, viewing it as an extra challenge to carry only a 2-person tent instead. The ascent won them two prestigious mountaineering awards: France’s Piolet d’Or and Russia’s Golden Axe. Thalay Sagar wasn’t even the groups first choice. They’d planned to climb a route on Jannu (7,710m) in Nepal, but had to switch to their backup when they couldn’t raise enough money for the first route.
Dmitry Golovchenko described Moveable Feast on mountain.ru:
“Our route starts from a crevasse, between ice and rock. The first 500-600 meters climb a steep slope of ice and snow. Then you deal with the first bastion, vertical rock with sets of cracks all filled with ice. It took us 2 days to climb 200 meters. Due to the wind and weather conditions even the vertical sections were covered in snow and ice. And if you see rock, it most probably means that it is both steep and smooth. Further up, mixed climbing begins up the 300-400m high, 70-80° rock barrier. One of the ledges for our tent was under the overhanging rock (we had to chop some ice to build it) and we found some equipment there: ropes and some aid climbing gear. We assume it was left by the 1994 Italian expedition. One pitch further leads to the summit bastion: black and quite loose rock, overhanging at 110 degrees. We tried to bypass this, however we were unsuccessful and eventually decided to climb it straight up. After the bastion, the final section starts and a snow slope leads you straight to the summit. Here we took some pictures and later we found some Indian fixed ropes and used them for the descent.”
This year’s Piolet d’Or was a tie between the Russian team and the British team of Nick Bullock and Paul Ramsden. To watch a video of the latter’s award-winning climb, check out The First Ascent of Tibet’s Nyainqentangla South East. Of the film, Bullok wrote: “I’m not making this film for anyone else, apart from me. [It’s] to remind myself, never, ever, ever, ever, ever to do this again.”