Alpinism is alive and well in the Greater Ranges where new routes have been added to several peaks over the past few months. Paul Ramsden and Tim Miller made an alpine-style first ascent of The Phantom Line, a 1,200-metre ED+ up the north face of a previously unclimbed 6,563-metre peak which they called Jugal Spire in the Jugal Himal area of Nepal.
Ramsden, known for his dozens of first ascents in the Himalayas over the years, said he thinks it’s one of the steepest walls in the country. The line they took is the only weakness up the 1.2-kilometre tall granite face. They spent five days climbing.
Ramsden said that he’s mentoring Miller on big mountain routes and that their 37-pitch climb is the first of likely many.
And in Alaska, Clint Helander and August Franzen made the first ascent of Full Moon Fever on the West Buttress of Mount Hunter. The grade of AK6 M7 A1 AI4 makes it one of the most technical climbs on this side of Hunter.
“By the end of the day, we skied nine miles up the Ramen Valley and established ourselves several pitches up on the lower ice ridge at a wonderful bivy,” said Helander. “The next day, we climbed past our 2021 high point on the rocky buttress.”
They completed the buttress on their third day of climbing and reach the remote south summit. On the fourth day, they crossed the huge ice plateau and summited all three peaks of Hunter, something few climbers have done. The descended the Ramen Couloir in three hours from the summit.
In April, Helander and Andres Marin made the first ascent of The Shaft of the Abyss VI AI5R M5 90-degree snow A0 on Pyramid Peak. Read more about that epic new route here.