DID YOU THINK IT WOULD BE SO SMOOTH?
AV : With Symon in the team, yeah, pretty much. But we expected something surprising, that’s for sure. But it wasn’t actually our initial project – that was the north face of Cholatse.
SW : Autumn conditions in the Himalaya really depend on what the weather was like in July and August, i.e. the monsoon season – and this year, it was practically non-existent, so the mountains we faced in October were just how they are in summer: very dry, and not much ice. In these conditions, our initial objective – ice/mixed climbing right up a north face – turned out to be a non-starter.
We’d headed to this valley for its overall potential – we’d have the option of switching to a different objective, with a different exposure. So we had a look at the south side of the valley for a rock-climbing target. That’s when we found this pillar, and the possibility of opening a route up it.
AV : : In terms of altitude, Symon and Antonin already had high-altitude experience, just short of 6,000 – unlike Laurent and me. So we decided to opt for a massif where there were summits of 6,000-6,500 nearby, so we could test ourselves at that altitude.
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