Mammut professional alpinists succeed in the first ascent of the ‘Kirti-Nose’ In India

In October 2022, the Swiss professional alpinists and Mammut athletes Stephan Siegrist and Jonas Schild succeeded, together with their rope partner Andy Schnarf, in making the first ascent of the “Kirti-Nose” (4950 m. above sea level).

The pillar “Kirti-Nose”, named by the alpinists, is located in the Indian state of Uttarakhand. The 350-meter route of difficulty 7b / A3 leading to the peak is called “Between two Parties”.

Stephan Siegrist explains how extraordinary weather conditions lead to this successful first ascent and provides us with an insight into the route`s character:

At the beginning of September, we travelled to the Garhwa region in India. When we finally arrived, it became clear quite quickly that mountaineering and climbing would probably not go according to plan. The Monsoon lasted unusually long this year and surprised us with large amounts of new snow. Facing the avalanche risk, we had to accept that after four weeks of anticipation our main target would remain unclimbed.

But a weather window with exceptionally little precipitation opened—an opportunity for an alternative project we did not want to miss. While waiting in the base camp, a specific face caught our eyes. Four hundred meters tall and with an astonishing resemblance to the Nose at El Captain, we officially declared the rock nose a project.

Relatively easy to approach, south-facing, and accordingly quickly dry – the ideal destination for the short window of good weather. So, we decided to tackle the 4950-Meter-tall peak at the edge of the Kirti-Glacier and named it “Kirti-Nose”. On the first 150 meters, we climbed on rock of superb quality—incredible crack-climbing for the first five pitches. We had to deal with partially loose rock flakes for the next four pitches. This made the passage significantly more demanding. Halfway into the 6th pitch, we discovered old traces of an attempted first ascent. The materials` age suggests that the attempt was made in the 90ies or the beginning of the 2000s. However, we could not identify who had tried to climb the pillar. We also did not find any more material past the old rappelling station. We climbed beyond any traces from the past and were rewarded with 120 meters of partially steep wall climbing with yet again rock of fantastic quality. After these final meters, we reached the peak right before dusk. After ten pitches, grade 7b / A3, and 350 climbing meters, we stood after four days of climbing on the intriguing rock pillar`s highest point. Happily, we lay in each other’s arms. Grateful that we were able to celebrate this success despite gruelling late monsoon weather.

Despite this success, our return was clouded by a devastating piece of news. A tragic avalanche accident on Mount Draupadi ka Danda II occurred only 24 kilometres as the crow flies from our base camp. Being part of the mountaineering community, such events deeply concern us. We would like to express our heartfelt condolences to all the bereaved families and wish them much strength and confidence. 

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