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Urs Stoecker, Iwan Wolf and Thomas Huber have struck again, not even a month after their first ascent of Ogre III. This time they climbed their original objective, nearby Ogre, reaching the summit on 21 July what a Grand Slam!
This project was, to say the least, highly ambitious as the mountain had remained unclimbed since Chris Bonington and Doug Scot's historic first ascent in 1977. Since then more than 20 expeditions had tried and failed to reach the summit.
After 2 days of preparations the three alpinists left Base Camp on 18 July for their summit bid. 28 pitches along the Fine/Vauquet brought them to the top of the South Pillar at 6500m on 20 July. At 2.00 am they set off once more for the decisive stage; a steep ice face (up to 55°) that brought them to beneath the summit pedestal, from where they continued to reach the peak at 7285m.
The trio battled against intense cold and high winds during the final sections of the ascent to reach the summit at 15.30 on Saturday 21 July. 24 years had passed since Bonington and Scott had first set foot on the summit...
A day later, on 22 July the three were safely back on the glacier, after abseiling 800m along the South Pillar.
For this (great) second ascent of Ogre Thomas, Iwan and Urs climbed the Fine/Vauquet route to the top of the Pillar at 6500m, then traversed along the South Face along the Bonington/Estcourt route to then reach the summit via the line originally climbed by Scott/Bonington. The German/Swiss team encountered difficulties of up to VI/A2 and established Base Camp at 5000m, Camp 2 at 5900m and Camp 3 at 6200m (both on portaledges) and a bivy Camp 4 at 6500m.
Congratulations to all three for this truly fantastic second ascent!
Ogre III, first ascent
Photos: Ogre and stages of the ascent (Photos Huber archive)