Chantel Astorga and Anne Gilbert Chase have made the first all-female ascent of one of the most wild climbs in Alaska, the Slovak Direct on Denali.
They climbed the big and committing 3,000-metre route, graded VI 5.9X M6 WI6, from June 2 to 5 for the climb’s ninth overall ascent.
“[We] made the nintth overall (we think) and first female ascent of the Slovak Direct on the south face of Mount Denali completing a two-year dream,” wrote Gilbert Chase on social media.
“It was an amazing and wild adventure that I can’t put into words at this time.
“It took everything we had and challenged our mental and physical strength many times over. What a beautiful mountain and a badass route.”
Yesterday Chantel and I stepped off the Kahiltna glacier back into Talkeetna after almost a month off the grid. Smelling the warm summer air and putting on flip flops and cotton never felt so good. // From June 2-5 2018, C and I made the 9th overall (we think) and first female ascent of the Slovak direct on the South Face of Mount Denali completing a 2 year dream. It was an amazing and wild adventure that I can’t put into words at this time. It took everything we had and challenged our mental and physical strength many times over. What a beautiful mountain and a badass route! Thank you Blažej Adam, Tono Križo and František Korl for the vision in 1984. Thank you to @petzl_official for making this dream a reality and to @patagonia @lasportivana @julboeyewearna @clifbar for keeping me warm and happy up there. Also thank you to the @denalinps rangers for all of the hard work you do on the mountain. What an amazing place!! #alpineclimbing #denalinationalpark #lovethelifeyoulive
A similar first all-female ascent was in May 2016, when Fanny Schmutz and Elodie Lecomte climbed the Scottish Pillar on the southwest face of Bhagirathi III (6,856 m) in the Garhwal Himalaya over five days.
Watch Gilbert Chase talk alpine climbing in Ouray with Gripped editor Brandon Pullan in winter 2018.
Slovak Direct Ascents
1984: Blažej Adam, Tono Križo and František Korl
2000: Kevin Mahoney and Ben Gilmore
2000: Scott Backes, Steve House and Mark Twight
2008: Katsutaka Yokoyama, Yusuke Sato and Fumitaka Ichimura
2010: Jesse Huey and Mark Westman
2013: Andy Houseman and Nick Bullock
2013: Rémi Sfilio and Helias Millerioux
2017: David Bacci and Luca Moroni
2018: Chantel Astorga and Anne Gilbert Chase
Watch Houseman and Bullock on Slovak Direct below.