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5.13b above 6000 Meters


Submitted by admin on 2009-10-09

Rating: 12345   Go Login to rate this article.   Votes: 12 | Comments: 25 | Views: 15666

During a four day period of good weather between 11th and 14th of August, Alexander and Thomas Huber managed the first RP ascent of the "Eternal Flame", a legacy of the legendary German climbing team Güllich/ Albert from 1989.

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"Wish you were here". Alexander climbing the first of the two pitches, with which the bolt-ladder of the original line could get bypassed (5.12d).

This route runs with an impressive line through the South Buttress of Nameless Tower (6251m) amidst the Granite Mountains of Trango Group in the Karakoram. Its first ascenders could climb large parts of the route free. However, four pitches proved too difficult to complete the RP ascent. Climbing difficulties up to 5.12a at 6000 metres was a true pioneering achievement back then.

In the years that followed, climbers from all over the world tried to ‚free' the "Eternal Flame". In 2003, Denis Burdet from Switzerland free climbed two of the four aid pitches, with difficulties up to 5.13a. In 2005, Spanish climber Iker Pou found a possible solution to the problem of the 10th pitch: he discovered a variation to the right of the bolt ladders, but unfortunately, bad weather conditions prevented him from redpointing that pitch.

This summer, Thomas and Alexander Huber were so fortunate to have both, perfect conditions on the wall as well as a perfectly timed patch of good weather, which enabled them to make the first free ascent.

After they had investigated the first four pitches of the route and discovered a variation to the second pitch's pendulum, the Huber brothers had to wait a few days for better weather conditions. Within four days they managed to redpoint the 24 pitches back to back - with difficulties up to 5.13a at an altitude of 6000 meters!

"I take my hat off to the achievement and free climbing instinct of the first ascenders. This route is a true enrichment for mountaineering", says Alexander Huber. "With "Eternal Flame" Kurt Albert and Wolfgang Güllich have passed on the best and most beautiful free climb on the globe. We are thrilled that we could play a little part in developing this route!"

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The West Face of Nameless Tower. Eternal Flame runs up the right skyline of the tower, which is actually its south buttress.

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"Light my Fire". Alexander in the middle of the traverse, with which the pendulum of the second pitch could get bypassed (5.12a).

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Alexander climbing the perfect hand-jam-crack of the fifth pitch (5.10c).

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The most difficult pitch is situated at an height of 6050 meters: the very thin finger crack of the 17th pitch, which demands highly technical and delicate climbing (5.13a).

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Perfect high-quality-granite in the middle of an ocean of giant glacier. Additionally blue sky and a bag full of chalk – for what could you ask more? Alexander jamming the hand crack of the last difficult pitch of "Eternal Flame" (5.11d).

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"We were 6251m above sea level." As proof Thomas Huber presents his Suunto Core watch, which measured the data of the entire RP ascent and recorded a log file of the whole climb. The barometer function enabled the brothers to keep tabs on changing air pressure and possible changes in the weather.

All photos courtesy of Hinterbrandner / Huberbuam.de

Article courtesy of Sonja Güldner-Hamel, PLANET TALK GmbH, Marienplatz 12, D-83043 Bad Aibling, Germany


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25 Comments CommentAdd a Comment

 nthusiastj
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 2009-10-09
Proud!
 iamgeniey
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 2009-10-09
5 out of 5 stars PROUD INDEED! (..notably conscious of your prepostions, nice.)
 slidingmike
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 2009-10-09
Awesome! But one dumb question... I'm not familiar with the term "RP ascent" -- does it mean free, or free & clean (all removable pro), or what? Ridiculously proud? Thanks in advance!
 ShibbyShane
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 2009-10-09
Sweet. Where exactly is this formation? Also, those pictures need to biiiiigger!
 notapplicable
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 2009-10-09
Slidingmike: RP = Redpoint
 Adk
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 2009-10-10
I just pinched a loaf in my drawers thinking about this.
Congrats!!!
 azrokdawg
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 2009-10-10
3 out of 5 stars Amazing! What an acomplishment.
 ACJ
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 2009-10-10
Awesome.
 i_h8_choss
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 2009-10-11
give theese guys a golden piton
 yigitarslan
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 2009-10-14
good work guys,,
 MarkSeuring
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 2009-10-16
who would like to drag me up there?
 MarkSeuring
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 2009-10-16
who would like to drag me up there?
 dockzilla
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 2009-10-20
Pretty awesome camera work also!
 yigitarslan
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 2009-10-21
you must live for world mounteering,,
 dindolino32
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 2009-10-21
They are Studs. This beats their timed Nose ascent
 fearlessclimber
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 2009-10-29
Man this really makes me want to go to the mountains and do some climbing this weekend.
 taller_climber_dude
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 2009-10-29
that is really freaking cool!
 brotherbbock
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 2009-11-09
Definitely a golden piton in this.
 dharold
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 2009-11-10
pinched a loaf indeed!
 BarryM37
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 2009-12-03
Inspiring and awesome climb enjoyed this reading and pics very much
 bkasey62
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 2010-01-20
you guy kick ass!! good work!
 IndexJunkie
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 2010-01-25
bodacious.
 inderida2000
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 2010-01-26
Now are they going to work on doing a speed climb up that!!! LOL. Awsome job though, love the Huber brothers!!!
 dafedo
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 2010-06-14
Here is a cool video about our "eternal flame route"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B1BGiLVzJp0
 alpenweg
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 2010-10-03
God bless human potential

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