American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Asia, India, Himachal Pradesh, Garhwal, Arwa Spires, North Face, Fior di Vite, Attempt

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 2007

Arwa Spires, north face, Fior di Vite, attempt. Three Spanish climbers, Rubén de Francisco, José Miguel Herrera, and Santiago Millán, attempted to make the second ascent of Fior di Vite on the north face of the central summit of the 6,193m Arwa Spires. Fior di Vite was climbed in 2002 by Swiss guides Stephan Harvey, Bruno Hasler, and Roger Schali. It follows the central couloir on the Spires until forced to break out right and gain a large snowfield high on the adjacent rock wall. Working up to the right edge of this face, the Swiss then climbed four aid pitches and easier terrain to the summit. The grade of their 800m line was 80° VI+ and A2.

As did previous parties to this area, the Spanish team lost much time on the approach, largely due to unreliable porters. The anticipated two-day walk to base camp took nine. During this period, though, they climbed an unnamed, probably virgin 5,500m summit for acclimatization. Above base camp poor snow cover on the glacier leading to the face delayed their progress further. Eventually they made several forays onto the route and fixed 500m of rope, after some long, unprotected leads up steep mushy snow. Toward the end of May they made their final attempt, but Herrera was ill and forced to descend, leaving the other two to continue with all the gear. High temperatures, wet conditions, and unstable weather forced them down from about two-thirds height on the face, before they had come to grips with the upper rock wall.

Lindsay Griffin, Mountain INFO, CLIMB Magazine

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