Iranians climb new Tsaranoro big wall in Madagascar
In April 2015 the Iranian climbers Hassan Gerami, Hamid Reza Shafaghi and Farshad Mijoji made the first ascent of The Change Experience (8b, A2 442m), a new multi-pitch rock climb up the Karambony tower (Ecole) located in the Tsaranoro massif, Madagascar.
The gigantic island of Madagascar, just off the east coast of Africa in the Indian Ocean, is famous to rock climbers worldwide for the superb granite big wall climbing in the Tsaranoro massif. Located in the Andringitra National Park, these up to 800m high granite rock faces have attracted the attention of all the world’s best ever since Kurt Albert and Bernd Arnold climbed the first routes in November 1995, Rain Boto (7b+, 420m) and Lemurenschreck (7a+, 420m). Currently the fifty or so routes range in difficulties from 5b all the way to the 8c Tough Enough, one of the hardest big walls in southern hemisphere, finally climbed free in a day by Adam Ondra in 2010.
Over six days this April an Iranian trio comprised of Hassan Gerami, Hamid Reza Shafaghi and Farshad Mijoji forged a new route up the Ecole secttion of the Karambony monolith. The 11 pitch, circa 442m high new route is called Change Experience and was climbed ground-up. While pitches 1, 10 and 11 were climbed free, the trio resorted to aid climbing to forge all the other pitches and after reaching the summit the Iranians rested for a day before spending a further three days attempting to free the remaining pitches. While they successfully redpointed up to 8b, two pitches require A2 aid and will no doubt prove an interesting test in the future.
Gerami, Shafaghi and Mijoji concluded that "Everything was like a dream and a wish" and their challenging ascent no doubt puts a spotlight on the impressive capabilities of Iranian climbers.
TOPO: The Change Experience, Tsaranoro, Madagascar.