American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Asia, Pakistan, Baltoro Muztagh, Trango Pulpit, More Czech, Less Slovak

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 2000

Trango Pulpit, More Czech, Less Slovak. In July, the Czech/Slovak expedition consisting of Ivo Wondrácek, Tomáš Rinn, Pavel Weisser and Michal Drašar (all Czech) left Prague June 18. Jaroslav Dutka from Slovakia had problems with his transit visas to Great Britain and joined the expedition in Base Camp on July 2. The approach to the face of the Trango Pulpit was grade 4-5 climbing in itself. The team established Camp I at the base of the wall. The face is composed of three pillars separated by big snow fields. There were already climbers from Norway to the right of their proposed route. The Czech climbers had food for 20 days. The climbing itself was more or less cracks in solid yellowish granite. They climbed left to a unique rock formation, the Guillotine, which stuck up from the face.

On July 8, they reached the first snow fields at 4900 meters, where they established CII. From July 11-13, the weather was very poor and the climbers waited in their portaledges. On July 16, Dutka and Weisser reached the second snow field some 1500 meters above the base, where they established CIII (5400m). They also found signs from a previous attempt to climb the Pulpit via this line at this point. Above the snowfield the rock was untouched.

On July 17, Rinn and Wondrácek climbed almost to the final ridge. Dutka and Drašar reached the summit of the Pulpit (5800m) the next day, then descended to CIII late in the evening. On the 19th, the weather deteriorated. Dutka, Wiesser and Drašar decided to descend to BC to wait for better weather. Rinn and Wondrácek stayed in CII for the next six days.

On July 26, the weather improved. Rinn and Wondrácek started to climb from CII to the summit of the Pulpit. They reached the final ridge at dusk, where they slept. In the morning, they summitted the Pulpit. Wondrácek felt sick and decided to descend to BC. Rinn stayed to wait for Dutka and Weisser. They wanted to continue with their climbing to the top of Great Trango. The three slept on the top of the Pulpit on July 28, then, in perfect weather the next day, they traversed to Great Trango via the 1977 American Route, climbing 13 pitches to the summit, which they reached at 5 p.m. They then descended to the Pulpit, spending the night there once again. On July 30, the weather deteriorated again. The next two days they cleaned the route of all ropes and gear.

Their route, which they named More Czech, Less Slovak (VII 7- A2, 53 pitches, 2100m), was the first ascent of the Trango Pulpit on the Great Trango Tower. The team hand-drilled all bolts at the belays.

Vlado Linek, Slovakia

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