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Autor: Dodo Kopold, Slovenia

(Dodo Kopold)

great trango, out of reality

great trango NW face

Looking for some nice summer holiday, I didn´t think it would be in Trango valley. But if someone would ask me now „why again“, my answer would be simple – I love this place. The magnificent view to Great Trango with 2000 vertical metres from base to summit, Uli Biaho tower and its neverending avalanches, beautiful Nameless tower, wild Hainabrakk tower and others. There is no doubt that this is the right place for climbers who are looking for something special. Something like five stars holidays in vertical.

first day out of wather

My friends Martin Krasňanský (expert on wine) and Michal Sabovčík (young gun) had never been in Karakoram before. But they were hungry for local granite, as was I. Our main menu was colourful. Nothing like 3 Euro menu in Chinese restaurant.

first bivy

While Martin was discovering effects of high altitude in base camp (we all live in an altitude around 150m), I spent some nice time exploring an unclimbed terrain in south face of Great Trango with Michal (to the right of Assalam Alleikum route). We climbed apx. 500m there, in a new ground and with difficulties up to VII+, in super runout slabs. We stopped lost somewhere in a huge face and then retreated to the base camp.

second day in entry slabs

climbing in the rain

Few days later, after we had read all the articles about Great Trango routes in NW face (Ukrainian, Russian, American, German), we decided to exchange our comfort in base camp for something more exciting. To climb the NW face in alpine style, in less than five days, without rivets, portaledge and only two of us (Martin continued his exploration in the base camp). But nothing similar to a disaster style we used in 2005 in south face. I´m an old man now and need more comfort. So we took sleeping bags, pads and little bit more food :-) All in one haulbag and one small backpack.

second bivy under headwall

NW face has two sections. Entry slabs and the headwall. In the first part it was hard to find something dry (without waterfalls) and intact. First day we climbed in amazing slabs, corners sharing few rivets on belays from Ukrainian routes. But in the afternoon we stopped in a long V-crag with another waterfall inside the crag. Our first night was on single beds separated 5m apart.

under illuminati

Next day we were able to climb the V-crag, as it was already without the waterfall, and then we continued to a section with many offwidths. We both hate offwidths, but when it´s raining, it starts to be fun. It was a long day but finally we reached the headwall of Great Trango.

leading M7

The third day started with another steep offwidth and technical traverse to the snow gully where I was nearly killed in an avalanche during my descent in 2005. This time the gully was more icy.
In midday we reached the Illuminati section (overhanging mixed climbing with hanging ice). In apx. 5200m, something incredible! In a loose rock and without rivets. Yes, something incredible :-)

Illuminati pitch

Another long day. Michal went in bed at 2 AM. Sorry, not in bed but in haulbag. And I sat on a small ledge where sparrows rest.

haulbag bivy

haulbag bivy II

After a terrible night another terrible and long day in snowing and climbing difficult ice chimneys. We reached the top of the Prominent pillar at night. From here it´s apx. 400m in easy ground to the main summit. We were thirsty as never before....
… and suddenly our jetboil fell. F***! Without water we´re f*****! Sitting on a small ledge where sparrows rest I think about what will happen.

ice arena

After five days in NW face we retreat to the base camp without the main summit but with a beautiful and hardcore route. I choose life -)

ice arena II

hopeless bivy

Great Trango NW face „OUT OF REALITY“ 1500m WI6 M7 A3 VIII (1-5.8.2012 alpine style)
Great Trango S face 500m VII+ alpine style attempt
Great Trango N ridge 14 hours BC-Summit- BC
Uli Biaho gallery FA 7b C2 350m one day push (Martin, Michal and me)
Uli Biaho gallery FA 7a C2 600m one day push (Martin with austrian team)

our new model of stove

more info and pictures

Dodo after the disaster night

long way to base camp

happy end after few days

Great Trango summit

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