Arjuna, First Ascent by West Face
India, Jammu and Kashmir, Kishtwar Himal
A seven-man Polish expedition led by Bogumil Slama finally made the first ascent of Arjuna, which has been attempted various times in the last years. The climbers have compared Arjuna’s west face to the north face of the Grandes Jorasses. After establishing Base Camp at 9850 feet in the wild Kijai Nalla, they set up camps at 12,150 and 15,100 feet. Miroslaw Dasal, Jerzy Barszczewski and Zbigniew Skierski aimed at the 5000-foot-high central buttress. On August 12 they fixed 360 feet of rope in an access chimney (UIAA V + , A2). On August 14 they started their final attack. On the first day they got to the top of a tower on the buttress. From there they climbed ice, cracks and slabs on the crest of the buttress. All 49 pitches were difficult. Finally on August 18 they reached the summit (6230 meters, 20,440 feet). They rappelled the ascent route and removed the fixed rope from the chimney. Tomasz Bender and Przemyslaw Piasecki meanwhile climbed alpine-style a 4500-foot-high route which falls directly from the south summit, mostly free. The bottom third ascended a giant wet chimney which they left on the left side. They had ten pitches in a 70° to 90° ice couloir. After traversing left again over slabs, they got to the edge of the buttress. This 46-pitch route to the south summit took six days. They reached the top on August 17. Both routes were highly demanding and not free from falling stones and ice.
– Józef Nyka, Editor, Taternik, Poland