Shoshala (ca 4,700m), Trishul Direct. In spring 2010 Frederic Nicole, Bernd Zangerl, and I were exploring the Kinnaur region for new bouldering sites, when we discovered the Baspa Valley, a veritable Shangri-La for the rock climber. Returning to Switzerland I told Yannick Boissenot and Giovanni Quirici. A few minutes of description and two or three photos were enough to give birth to our project.
In April 2011 a 28-hour journey over rough roads took us from Delhi to the village of Raksham (Rakchham). The contrast of the overcrowded, overheated Indian plains with this little corner of paradise at 3,000m was extreme. Our goal was located just above the village: Shoshala, a virgin rock peak rising to ca 4,700m.
Reaching the foot of the face was complicated, and it took a week to find a feasible path for porters. We then took 18 days to climb 19 pitches up the middle of the face to the summit. We were delayed by storms, which hit almost daily and discouraged us from bivouacking on the wall. We fixed ropes and jumared to our high point each day, but this often proved slow and painful. As bad weather frequently arrived by early afternoon, it left little time to push the route forward. Lack of water was serious; we had to melt water from a snowfield that visibly diminished in the heat and disappeared on our last day. Our idea was to work the route and then redpoint as much as we could. We placed 39 bolts and climbed 750m at 7b, with a little A2. We completed the ascent, which we named Trishul Direct, in May. It was the last expedition that Yannick and I would have the joy of sharing with Giovanni. On August 12, 2011, he was killed in a fall on the Eiger North Face.
To see Yannick’s film Shoshala, visit www.redpointmovie.fr/shoshala Elie Chevieux, Switzerland