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Africa, Madagascar, Andringitra National Park, Tsaranoro Kely and Pic Dondy, New Routes, and Other Ascents

Tsaranoro Kely and Pic Dondy, New Routes, and Other Ascents. A Polish expedition visited Madagascar from mid-August until the end of September. Boguslaw Fic, Tomasz Samitowski, Krzysztof Zielinski, Waldemar Niemiec, and Michal Zielinski, with Marcin Jamkowski as a climbing cameraman and photographer and Marzena Hmielewicz as a photographer and journalist, climbed various established routes and put up two new ones. Fic and Samitowski climbed the route Ebola (6b+) on the Lemur Wall onsight at the beginning of their trip. They found the rock to be superb. Fic and K. Zielinski repeated Pectorine (6b A0), another brilliant route on the same face. On the east face of Tsaranoro Kely, Boguslaw Fic, Tomasz Samitowski, and Krzysztof Zielinski established Cucumber Flying Circus (7b+ with obligatory moves of 7a+, 600m) through the slabs just left of Out of Africa (Motto-Pellizzari-Piola-B. Robert, 1998). The route took ten days of preparation and was protected on lead. The individual pitches were as follows: 5+, 5+, 6b, 6a+, 6c, 7a, 7b+, 7a+, 7a, 7a, 6c, 6b+. On the final pitch, a 60-meter rope was barely long enough during the first ascent. On the final redpoint ascent, the pitch was divided into two pitches of about 31 and 32 meters; both went at 6b+. The team recommends a longer rope, which allows one to lead the last section in one pitch and also guarantees greater comfort on the other 60-meter pitches. The bolts on the last four pitches are perhaps a little bit less numerous, due to the fact that the battery charger for the drill failed, but they are also technically easier pitches than the ones that preceded them. The Polish climbers did this route in a style similar to that of most of the other expeditions to visit the area, i.e., ground up, using drills to place bolts, and fixing the routes with ropes.

On Pic Dondy (2195m) in the Murarama Valley, Michal Zielinski and Waldemar Niemiec put up the much easier but longer Tato, Tato (Polish: Daddy, Daddy) (6a, 24 pitches, 900m), which is in parts heavily vegetated, from August 27– 28. Seven bolts were placed. Repetitions were also made of the local classic Rain Boto (7b+, 450m, Albert-Arnold, 1995) on Karambony, by Fic and Samitowski, who commented that it was “the most beautiful climb of their lives;” and, on the east face of Vatovarindry, Veloma Madagasikara (7a, 320m, Motto-Pellizzari, 1998), by Samitowski and K. Zielinski.

Grzegorz Glazek, Polski Zwiazek Alpinizmu