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Asia, China, Sichuan, Chola Shan, Slovenian Activity

Chola Shan, Slovenian Activity. During the UIAA International Training Camp, we climbed three new routes on four new peaks between 5000 and 6000 meters. On the north face of Slovenian Peak (5500m), Miha Manence, Matej Brjnik, and I climbed the new route Cleopatra (ED-85°, 800m) in seven hours on September 9, then descended the south face, thereby making the first traverse of the mountain. From base camp we made the four-hour approach on the Geimian glacier and from there one to two hours to the wall. The lower part of the route was technically not difficult. In the middle, it is about 70° in the couloir, but at the top it was 85°. Fifty meters below the summit we reached the col and went left to the top of the mountain. The conditions were ideal in the narrow couloir (85°), but below the 60° section there was a lot of new snow. (The weather on all 14 days was like in Patagonia). We soloed the route because the rock was so monlithic we couldn’t protect. It is quite comparable technically to The Shroud on the Grande Jorasses, but the lower part is easy, the altitude is higher and the descent is more difficult. The climb was very good; the only problems were spindrift and thin ice (3-5cm) We descended the south face in eight rappels, then exited via the Nanmian Glacier to base camp (11 hours of descent).

On the north face of the Needle (5650 m), Miha Marence and I climbed The Sichuan Adventure (ED V+ 70°, 750 m) in ten hours on September 20. The approach was made as for Slovenian Peak, but more to the west. The mountain is very beautiful and daring. The first half of the climb, which we soloed, was snow and ice (60-85°). The first 200 meters, with the risk of stone-and icefall and thin ice, was very dangerous climbing. The upper part was mixed climbing (V+ 70-90°). The conditions were ideal—like in the French Alps, but protection was minimal because the rock was very compact (no cracks.…). After ten hours of climbing, we reached the top and abseiled immediately. Bad weather was coming.

We made five abseils, the fifth on a bolt because we couldn’t find any cracks. We bivouacked in only a bivouac sac. During the night it stormed, which made the descent the next morning risky because of new snow and bad weather.

On the southeast face of Son Peak (5710m), M. Manence, M. Brajnik and I soloed The Memories (III D+ 80°, 250 m) in three hours on October 23, finding snow and ice climbing with only the upper 60 meters mixed (IV+ 60°). From the summit of Son Peak we abseiled once on the col and then climbed another peak we called Father Peak (5700m). The route and peaks are dedicated to Matej’s father, who died in the Slovenian Alps during an exercise for the Slovenian Mountain Rescue.

Andrej Markovic, Slovenian Alpine Club