Piolets d'Or 2014, la big list
L'elenco completo di tutte le salite alpinistiche del 2013, dal quale verrà stilata la lista dei nominati per il Piolets d'Or 2014.
Eccoci al terzo round. Dopo l'annuncio che il premio alla carriera verrà consegnato all'alpinista statunitense John Roskelley, e dopo la nomina di George Lowe, Erri De Luca, Catherine Destivelle, Denis Urubko, Lin Sung Muk e Karin Steinbach come membri della giuria internazionale, ecco invece la "Super big list" di ascensioni compiute l'anno scorso che hanno maggiormente colpito gli organizzatori della 22° edizione dei Piolets d'Or. Da questo grande elenco verranno scelti a breve i nominati che si contenderanno il prestigioso premio alpinistico che andrà in scena dal 26 al 29 marzo 2014 a Courmayeur e Chamonix.
La lista è suddivisa in area geografiche ed è chiaro che trovarsi in questo elenco è già un riconoscimento importante. Scrivono gli organizzatori "Questo elenco preliminare di grandi salite effettuate nel corso del 2013 è stato compilato da Claude Gardien (Vertical Magazine) e Lindsay Griffin (American Alpine Journal). Il seguente è un elenco rappresentativo di salite significative ed innovative che rispettano la carta dei Piolets d'Or. Alcune salite non effettuate in puro stile alpino sono incluse visto la loro notevole importanza. I gradi sono quelli citati dai primi salitori; nel caso di vie nuove e prime libere i gradi sono ancora da confermare. Da notare che alcuni collegamenti web possono rappresentare un quadro non completo degli eventi, ma sono attualmente i migliori disponibili."
ALPI - DOLOMITI - PIRINEI
Grandes Jorasses (4,208m)
A new route on the east face between Groucho Marx and the Boivin Diaferia by Max Bionnet and Sebastien Ratel. The third pitch of 750m Borat was led free at 7b, while the fourth was led at 7a with some aid, but followed free at 7b.
On the north face Robert Jasper (Germany) and Roger Schäli (Switzerland) made a rare repeat and first free ascent of the Ghilini-Piola Direttissima. The two climbed the 1,400m route in 14-hour day at 7b/c.
Hohe Kirche (2,634m)
New route, solo, on the north face of this Zillertal (Austrian Alps) peak at the start of December by David Lama; Nordverscheidung (400m, UIAA VI/VII WI4 M4/5 90°). Temperatures down to -10°C.
First winter ascent of the Sagwand on the Sagzahn (Zillertal) via the 800m Schiefer Riss by Hansjorg Auer, David Lama and Peter Ortner at VI M7 80° over two days in March.
Piccola Civetta (3,207m)
New mixed route on the north face established over four days in May by Stefano Angelini, Alessandro Beber and Fabrizio Dellai; Argento Vivo (1,200m, WI6+ M8 A2 5+).
Sass de la Crusc (2,907m)
Wüstenblume (400m, VIII+), a new route on this celebrated wall by Josef Hilpold and Ulrich Viertler, was climbed in sections, and with some fixed ropes. However, they used only trad gear, which led to several challenging pitches.
First ascent of La Legrima, a coveted winter line up the north face. The 1,000m climb was carried out over two days in early January by Adam Holzknecht and Hubert Moroder using natural gear. Difficulties are WI6 M6 V+, with two sections of A0.
Sass Pordoi (2,952m)
A winter line based around the classic Fedele route on the northwest face was climbed by Jeff Mercier and Korra Pesce to give Ghost Dogs (750m, WI6 R/X M5 5+/6a). After 550m the two reached the great terrace where they escaped (continuing would have meant climbing the upper section in the sun), but came back the following day and finished the top wall.
Molignon di Dentro (2852m)
Opening of a new route in a Dolomite's style, on this face of Catinaccio (Molignon-Antermoia group), by Andreas Tonelli and Philipp Angelo, followed by Thomas Gianola and Klaus Baumgartner, on march 16th. Andreas Philipp climbed the Onda di Hokusai up to two lengths from the way out on march, 5th. They rounded off a few days later with with their friends. 750 m high, the Onda di Hokusai is rating Wi5 +, 60 °, M3. The route is dedicated to Manuel Moroder and Giulio Longaztti, both died in avalanches in 2013.
Eloi Callado made a complete traverses of the Pyrenees. In a single odyssey it took him 67 days to complete his 1,200km trip, during which he climbed 55 routes, among them Spigolo d'Ansabère (7a+), Embarradère on Ossau (6c+), both hard and classic routes in Gavarnie, and the north face of Vignemale. A total of 25,000m of climbing with most routes graded between 5c and 6b.
Trollryggen (1,740m), not to summit
First true calendar winter ascent of Suser Gjennom Harryland on Norway's celebrated Trollveggen or Troll Wall by Tormod Granheim and Aleksander Gamme (Norway), and Andy Kirkpatrick (UK). Eighteen pitches up to A3 were climbed in capsule style (12 days), on left side of the wall to the junction with the east ridge at half-height, from where they descended.
On a small peak situated on the island of Senja in northern Norway, Bent Vidar Eilertsen and Ines Papert established the 400m Finnmannen (M9+ WI7) in a 19-hour push after an approach by kayak.
The Horn (ca 1,700m)
First ascent of the seaward face of this formation on Upernavik Island off the west coast of Greenland. Jacob Cook and Ian Faulkner climbed the 1,000m face free to complete Cosmic Rave (British E6 6b). There were particularly runout sections and part of the face was fixed prior to the final push. Faulkner and Tom Codrington also climbed the 800m, vertical, seaward face of Ivnarssuaq Great Wall, in a 72-hour alpine style push with two poor bivouacs, to produce The Incredible Orange (British E3 5c).
In the Torssuqatoq Spires the Spanish-Basque team of Txemari Andres, Vicente Castro and Kepa Escribano climbed five fine new rock routes. The longest, the southeast face of Navianarpoq, was ascended, and a complex descent made of the previously untouched south ridge, in 35 hours camp-to-camp; Nunatak (735m of climbing, 7a A1).
First ascent of the elegant south ridge of a summit in the Torssuqatoq Spires first climbed by the 2010 American-Belgian team. Quinn Brett, John Dickey, Prairie Kearney, and Lizzy Scully reached the previously unclimbed south summit block to complete Morning Luxury (430m of climbing, 5.11a/b). The three women also climbed the 550m Plenty for Everyone (5.10+/11-) on the southeast face of Barnes Wall.
| NORD AMERICA
Mooses Tooth (3,150m)
Rising from the Buckskin Glacier, Bird of Prey (1,500m, 6a M7+ A2 90°), the most direct line up the east face, was completed in 48 hours camp-to-camp by Dani Arnold and David Lama (stopped on summit plateau). Sustained technical difficulties of a very high order.
Mooses Tooth (3,150m)
Another route of sustained technical difficulty of similarly high order, Terror (1,500m, WI6 M7 R/X A2), was climbed by Scot Adamson and Chris Wright (who walked across to the summit).
Mooses Tooth (3,150m)
Scott Adamson and Pete Tapley climbed NWS towards the right side of this 1,500m face at AI6 and M5, in the process making the first free route on this impressively steep wall. They stopped on the summit plateau.
Mount Laurens (3,052m)
Second ascent of this remote peak near to Foraker, Mark Allen (USA) and Graham Zimmerman (NZ/USA) having to walk two days from their drop-off point to the foot of the mountain. They were probably the first to visit the southwest fork of the Lacuna Glacier, from which they climbed the northeast buttress (1,400m, V AI4 M7 A1) in a 67-hour round trip.
The Citadel (2,590m)
First ascent of Hypa-Zypa Couloir (1,300m, VI 5.10R AI5+ M6+ A3) on the east face by Ben Erdmann, Jess Roskelley, and Kristoffer Szilas. The climbers traversed the peak, descending the north ridge, and regained their camp on the glacier ca 70 hours after leaving.
The Apocalypse (2,848m)
First ascent of this major peak in the remote, infrequently visited, and climatically challenged Revelation Mountains by Clint Helander and Jason Stuckey via the west Face (1,350m AI5).
Mount Bute (2,804m)
First free ascent of this 600m west face in British Columbia's Coast Range by Blake Herrington and Madaleine Sorkin. The pair found "world class granite" and Sorkin led the crux at 5.12-.
Mount Turnweather (1,759m)
Canadians Delano and Joshua Lavigne made the first ascent of Butterknife Ridge, following the east ridge of this Baffin Island peak at 5.12 AI3.
| SUD AMERICA
On the southeast face Jeremy Collins, Pat Goodman and José Miranda climbed In Gold Blood over five days, and then attempted to free the two crux pitches. They succeeded on one, and the 11-pitch route now has a grade of V 5.12c R A0.
In June Carlos Esteban Pineda Beyer and Carlos Solé made the first ascent of the central couloir on the north face by the technical and sometimes objectively threatened Learning of our Weaknesses (960m, ED+, 5.10 M6 70-90°). The Venezuelan pair made a non-stop ascent, and descent of the normal route, in 43 hours.
Purscanturpa Este (5,410m)
The first ascent of the southeast face of this largely rocky peak in the Cordillera Huayhuash by Japanese Masanobu Noba and Yasushi Yamanoi via Qiumplirgun Swerminganta (800m, ED3, UIAA VII M5+ A1). This may be only the fourth ascent of the mountain.
Pico del Norte (6,050m)
A new route on the northwest face of this Bolivian summit in the Illampu Group, followed by a descent of the northwest ridge, in one long day by Argentinians Gabriel Fava and Carlitos Molina; Neq'e, Neq'e (1,000m, F6b+ 60°).
A new route on the south face of the highest peak of the Cordillera Real, out of season (December), by Bolivian guides Juvenal and Sergio Condori; Jach'a Kuntur Ajayu (1,400m to summit, TD, VI WI4 X 5+ M5).
With various partners Nathan Conroy opened the second new route on the biggest and most remote wall in the Chilean Cochamo region. Conroy began the route in 2012 with his father, having spent many days on previous occasions forging a route to the base of the wall. The 1,600m (28 pitches) La Presencia de mi Padre was climbed all free at 5.10+.
Cerro Catedral (2,200m)
First free ascent of the east face of this peak in Torres del Paine by Merlin Didier, Stephane Hanssens and Sean Villanueva. The trio fixed some ropes then spent a week on the wall climbing capsule style. Los Fabulosos Dos (1,000m, 7c+) is a variation on La Escoba de Dios. They also made the first free ascent of the east face of Cerro Cota 2000, in capsule style (500m, 7c+).
North Tower of Paine (2,260m)
First ascent of Plate Tectonics on the east face in a 15-day capsule style push. Mylas Moser and Amy Ness climbed the 900m route in 21 pitches (VI 5.12 C1-).
Torres del Paine
First integral traverse of the three main Paine towers by Pedro Cifuentes over 29 days in January-February. Completing the entire skyline the Spanish climber used previously cached food and gear, and at one stage spent eight days confined to his portaledge.
Torre Egger (2,850m)
The west face was climbed by Matteo della Bordella and Luca Schiera to give Notti Magiche (1,000m, 7a A2 WI4). The three completed the route in a three-day push, but jugged some of the fixed ropes left on previous attempts. Six bolts were placed, though others were in-situ from past attempts. They removed all the fixed ropes before leaving.
Fitz Roy (3,405m)
On the east face Luka Kranjc and Tajej Kreselj from Slovenia climbed The Real Kekic in four days to the summit. There is ca 800m of new climbing on the Goretta Pillar, right of the Diedro del Diablo, above which the two followed the Casarotto route to the top. Difficulties on this 1,200m ascent were VI 5.11+ A2.
Fitz Roy (3,405m)
New route on the north face, left of the French Northwest Ridge, by Luciano Fiorenza and Sergio Tartari (Argentina) in three days; Samba do Leao (1,300m, 6b+).
Fitz Roy (3,405m)
In a continuous ascent of 31 hours (46 hours round trip) Stephane Hanssens and Sean Villanueva climbed a new route on the north face left of the French Northwest ridge. They climbed new ground to the Grand Hotel, where they crossed Samba do Leao, and finished up the top section of El Flanco con Domingo. Every pitch was on-sighted except for one, where they lowered for the red point: Persiguiendo el Avion (1,800m, 900m of new ground, 7b+).
Monte Sarmiento (2,235m)
Second overall and first winter ascent of the main summit of Sarmiento in Tierra del Fuego by Natalia Martinez (Argentina) and Camilo Rada (Chile). The pair followed glacier slopes to the 400m north face, which they climbed in eight pitches to create Suerte de Sarmiento (D+, generally 60 - ca 90°, but with a crux rimaye giving five metres of 110°, which they aided).
A fixed rope and capsule style first ascent of the huge northeast ridge of this spectacular rock peak in Queen Maud Land by Leo Houlding, Alastair Lee, Jason Pickles, Chris Rabone (all UK), and Sean Leary (USA). The ca 1,100m ridge had more than 1,700m of climbing (35 pitches) with remarkably high technical difficulties, given the harsh Antarctic climate; British E6 6b and A2/C2.
Kyzyl Asker (5,842m)
A free ascent of the southeast pillar by Nicolas Favresse, Stéphane Hanssens, Sean Villanueva, and Evrard Wendenbaum in 15 days capsule style. After a new integral start, the climb lies very close to the 2007 Russian route as far as Camp 3 on the pillar. Above, it takes an identical line. Conditions were very cold but the 1,200m route was completed at 7b M7/8 with three portaledge camps.
Great Wall of China (north top of ca 5,120m)
Vincent Perrin, Bas van der Smeede, and Bas Visscher made the first ascent of the north face of the north top of the Great Wall of China (opposite Kyzyl Asker): Double Trouble (800m, TD- AI4) was similar to the Swiss Route on Les Courtes.
Ice Tooth (aka Kang Ri, 6,240m)
First ascent of the east ridge of this peak in the Xixabangma group by Luka Lindic, Nejc Marcic, Luka Strazar, Marko Prezelj, and Martin Zumer with one bivouac. Initial difficult rock led to easier mixed.
Li Yuan, Zhang Xiao Hui and Zheng Chao Hui made the first official and winter ascent of the north (higher) summit of Zhalaqueni in the Baimang Xueshan, reaching the top on 27 January. The three spent three and a half days climbing directly up the east face by a new line they named Excavator (1,300m, WI4+ AI3+ M5). It is thought that over the last 10 years nine teams have unsuccessfully tried to reach this summit, though an unauthorized ascent has been reported.
First ascent of this granite pyramid in the Shuangqiao Valley by Dave Anderson (USA), Chaohui Zheng (China) and Szu-ting Yi (Taiwan). The three climbed the southwest face; Three Sheep Bring Prosperity (600m, 5.10 R/X 60°).
Eagle Rock (ca 5,300m)
First ascent of the west-southwest face over two days by Marcos Costa (Brazil), solo. Invisible Hand (650m, 5.10+). Also first ascent of Peak 5,180m via west face, solo; Speed Indeed (580m, M3 5.8 70°).
(Unpublished AAJ report)
Eagle Rock (ca 5,300m)
New route on the southwest face, by Japanese Keita Kanehari and Kenji Onodera, joining the Chinese route in the upper section; Hagoroamo (ca 1,100m of climbing, 5.11). No bolts placed.
(Unpublished AAJ report)
Shizi Peak (5,057m)
First ascent of this peak above the Shuangqiao by Yususke Kimura, Takaaki Morikami and Kengo Tagai via a 570m (13-pitch) face climb at 5.10c. No bolts.
(Unpublished AAJ report)
Joey Shan (5,180m)
First ascent of this peak above the Changping Valley by Neil Kauffman, Cameron Kern, and Felix Parham via the south face and southwest ridge; Jianyfonya Dreaming (ca 500m, IV 5.9).
Jungdung Kangri (6,160m)
First ascent of this peak in the Ladakh Range, north of Leh, by Cory Hall (Canada) and James Moneypenny (UK) via the Moneypenny Hall of Fame (650m, ED1 90° A2+).
Kishtwar Kailash (6,451m)
First ascent of this previous untried peak in Eastern Kishtwar by Mick Fowler and Paul Ramsden via the southwest face, 1,500 m, ED, Scottish VI. They climbed and descended the route in a total of seven days.
Ice Wave (5,618m)
First ascent of the west summit of this peak above the Satling Glacier by German women Yvonne Koch, Mirjam Limmer, and Ursula Wolfgruber via the North Couloir (450m, nine pitches, M5 70° ice)
Jagdula Lek Traverse
From a base camp at 4,021m, Francois Damilano made a 20-hour round trip ascent of three peaks on the Jagdula Lek in the Kanjiroba Himal of West Nepal. He walked seven kilometers up glacier to the foot of the southwest face of Jagdula (5,761m), soloed this steep snow/ice face, with a tricky exit onto the summit ridge due to large cornices, then traversed the mushroomed crest northwest to two more virgin summits (5,783m and 5,750m), before descending to base.
(Unpublished AAJ report) - www.paulo-grobel.com/ [website under re-construction]
New route on the south face by Ueli Steck, alone, in a 28-hour round trip from advanced base, 8-9 October. This route was repeated 16-26 October by Stéphane Benoist and Yannick Graziani (different start and a few variations through the headwall). Some sections of M5+/M6 reported above 7,000m, and M4/M5 at around 7,500m: see planetmountain.com/News/shownews1.lasso?l=1&keyid=41296
petzl.com/en/outdoor/news/in-field/2013/11/07/ueli-steck-historic-solo-annapurna-s-south-face [just one of millions]
Ghandarbha Chuli (6,248m)
First ascent of this peak in the Annapurna Sanctuary via the southwest face and west ridge by Cosmin Andron and Christina Pogacean (Romania). There were ca 1,900m of ascent above advanced base on snow, ice and mixed up to 75°
First ascent of this peak south of Annapurna III by Stéphane Benoist and Yannick Graziani prior to their ascent of Annapurna I. The pair climbed the southwest couloir (700m, TD- with sections of 90°).
grandes-courses-alpinisme.com/annapurna.php (in French)
Gaurishankar (6,900m peak)
Mathieu Detrie, Pierre Labbre, Mathieu Maynadier and Jérome Para made a new route on the steep and difficult south face. The team climbed to the top of the face at 6,900m but did not continue to Gauri (the south summit - 7,010m); Peine Prolongée (ED, WI5+ M5 A1).
Second ascent of this summit on the west ridge of Kang Nachugo via a new line on south face and west ridge by Mingma Gyalje Sherpa, Pema Tshering Sherpa, and Liu Yong (Daliu). The Road of Che Guevara had sections of 75° and the usual precarious climbing along corniced crests. The ascent and descent were completed in 16 hours.
Kang Nachugo (6,737m), not to summit.
First ascent of the previously attempted southwest face, stopping on the south-southeast ridge at 6,640m, by Domen Kastilic and Santiago Padros. The 1,500m route, named Monsoon, was climbed in two days with sections of difficult snow and ice up to 75°.
Likhu Chuli I (6,719m)
Ines Papert made the first ascent of this Rolwaling peak in mid-November. With Thomas Senf she climbed the north-northeast face over the east summit to make a third camp at 6,580m on the north ridge. Next day, Senf, fearing frostbite, remained, while Papert continued to the top alone (total height gained ca 1,900m, generally 70°). Both climbers then descended the north ridge.
Pangbuk North (6,478m)
Scott Adamson and Christopher Wright made the first ascent of the previously attempted and now newly named Pangbuk North in the Lunag Group. The pair climbed directly up the northeast face: Purgation (1,100m, VI WI6+ M6) had two crux pitches of rotten ice and overhanging rock through the headwall.
Lunag West (ca 6,400m)
First ascent of this peak in the Lunag Group by Scott Adamson and Chris Wright prior to their ascent of Pangbuk North. The pair climbed the southeast face; Open Fire (1,000m, V WI5 M3).
Arakam Tse (5,904m)
First known ascent of this peak west of Cholatse. Silvestre Barrientos, Alfonso Gaston, Josep Maria Esquirol, and Ferran Rodriguez climbed the northeast face to create Tatopani (1,000m, VI/5+ M5+).
esquirolfree.blogspot.co.uk/ (in Spanish)
Lungaretse (5,870m, Google Earth), not to summit
First ascent of the southwest couloir on this peak north of Kyajo Ri by Camilo Lopez and Anna Pfaff, who terminated their ascent on the west ridge ca 150m below the summit. Colombian Direct (1,200m, TD, AI4 90°)
Kyajo Ri (6,186m)
First ascent of the east face by Russian Vladimir Belousov and Ukrainian Marina Kopteva. The pair climbed the 1,150m face in five days to create the 28-pitch Stealing Beauty (6b A2 M6 AI3). Some bolts were placed.
Kusum Kanguru (6,367m)
First ascent of the southwest face, followed by a traverse of the mountain and descent to the north, by Vyacheslav Ivanov and Alexander Ruchkin: Falling into the Void (1,400m, TD/ED, WI5 M5). Caught in bad weather the climbers had to sit for three days on the wall and finally took around 11 days to summit. Several more were needed to escape the mountain, the last four days without food. Once in the Monjo valley, they were unable to find a proper exit and were eventually evacuated by helicopter.
(Unpublished AAJ report)
Amphu I (6,740m)
First known ascent of this snow/ice peak west of Baruntse North via the southwest face and west ridge by Koreans An Chi-Young, Kim Young-Mi, and Oh Young-Hoon. Windy Couloir (1,300m, plus 500m glacier approach, TD, AI5) was delicate and poorly protected in the upper section.
Marek Holocek and Zdenek Hruby (Czech Republic) made the first ascent of the north face of Talung opposite Kangchenjunga. The pair climbed the ca 2,000m face in four and a half days, naming the line Thumba Party (WI6 M6+), then descended the west face in a further day and a half.
Khunyang Chhish East (7,400m)
First ascent of this Hispar peak by Simon Anthamatten, Hansjörg and Matthias Auer, who climbed the mixed 2,700m southwest face, with difficulties that Anthamattten rationalized were M4/5 at 7,000m.*
Usun Brakk (6,422m)
First ascent of this previously-attempted peak west of the Ogre by Ondra Mandula and Jiri Pliska from the Czech Republic. The pair climbed the west pillar with two bivouacs, naming their 1,600m climb, At the Right Time in the Right Place (6b 70° M5 A1), due to finding perfect conditions on the wall and enjoying good weather throughout.
Uli Biaho (6,109m)
Eugeny Bashkirtsov and Denis Veretenin from Russia climbed a new route, alpine style, on the east pillar to the right of the 1979 American line, then descended the south face in a total of seven days. Russian Roulette (1,900m 6c+ A2) mostly follows wide cracks and would have been psychologically easier had the team carried more than one large cam. Seven (hand-drilled) bolts were placed, mainly on anchors.
(Unpublished AAJ report)
Uli Biaho Tower (6,109m)
First ascent of the south pillar by Italians Matteo Della Bordella and Luca Schiera, and the Swiss Silvan Schupbach. After a long couloir approach (50-70/75°) the three climbed the 500m pillar (first attempted almost 40 years ago) with one bivouac; Speck (350m, 6b A0, followed by 150m of snow/mixed to 70°). Schiera and Schupbach also climbed Trango Tower and Great Trango during the same trip, making them the first to summit the three major towers above the Trango Glacier.
Great Trango Tower (6,286m), not to main summit
From July 31 - August 19 Marek Raganowicz and Marcin Tomaszewski from Poland put up a new route on the right side of the northwest face of Great Trango Tower. The first 38 of this 45-pitch route were independent. The pair climbed capsule style with four portaledge camps, reaching the top of the southwest ridge leading towards the 6,237m southwest summit. Twenty-one belay bolts and eight rivets were hand-drilled: Bushido (ca 1,950m, US VII- A4 UIAA VII+).
Broad Peak (8,047m)
Partial new route on the west face by Iranians Aidin Bozorgi, Mojtaba Jarahi, and Pouya Keivan. The three climbed the Normal route to Camp 3 at 7,000m, then traversed right onto the west face, slanting across ice, snow and rocky ground to reach the upper south ridge, which they followed back to the main summit. The new ground was climbed in alpine style. Tragically, exhausted in the summit area, the three became disorientated, lost the descent, and eventually perished.
K6 West (7,040m)
Raphael Slawinski and Ian Welsted made the first ascent of K6 West via the northwest face and west ridge in five days from the Charakusa Glacier. A further day was needed for descent. Above a complex glacier approach the route gave 1,800m of technical climbing up to WI4+ M6+. Prior to their ascent the line had been attempted almost to the ridge by Japanese.
Kapura (6,544m), not to summit
First ascent of the southwest ridge by Portuguese Paulo Roxo and Daniela Teixeira. Approaching via the Nangma Valley they made two bivouacs, one on the ascent and one on the descent, naming their route Never Ending Dreams (1,300m, M4 70°). They reached a small sub-summit of at least 6,350m at the end of the southwest ridge of Kapura South Peak.
The first ascent of the west face of this peak in the Darrans, by Guy McKinnon, solo, completed what had been described as one of the greatest remaining mountaineering challenges in New Zealand. McKinnon soloed the 1,900m face in one day, then descended to the north with one bivouac. The route has a New Zealand Darrans grade of VI 4+, though if the grading system was open ended it would probably be VII.