China climbing action by Kyle Dempster and Bruce Normand
Kyle Dempster and Bruce Normand have carried out a series of stunning climbs in the Minya Konka range in western China.
The American- Scottish duo warmed up - so to speak - with a first ascent of the West Face of Mt Grosvenor (6376m) via the most direct line imaginable, the central couloir. Climbing in alpine style, the two set off from Base Camp at 3:00am, reached the summit at 6:00pm and then descended through the night to reach the glacier at 2:00am, where the bivvied prior to returning to the safety of base camp. The face had been attempted previously and Dempster and Normand owe their success to a late autumn timing which resulted in good ice conditions in the gully.
Dempster and Normand, who earlier this year won the Piolet d'Or for their ascent of Xuelian West together with Jed Brown, then set their sights on Mt. Edgar where, after an arduous three day approach, they finally set foot on the East Face at 5500m. After three days of climbing they reached the 6618m summit at 2:30pm and after a further 2.5 days spent enduring poor conditions they finally completed the descent of their The Rose of No-Man's Land (M6, WI5). This is the second ascent of Mt. Edgar after the Korean first ascent in 2003.
For a full report and photos check out e9climbing.blogspot.com