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Watch Huber Brothers on Eternal Flame 5.13

They've released the film for the first time ever online and for free

Alex and Thomas Huber made the first free ascent of Eternal Flame, a classic 24-pitch 5.13a to the summit of Trango (“Nameless”) Tower in Pakistan back in 2009. The German brothers managed 5.13 crack climbing at over 6,000 meters for a total of half a dozen 5.12 or harder pitches.


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The first free route up the spire was the Slovenian Route, freed at 5.12a in 1988, and the Cowboy Direct 5.13a from 1995. Eternal Flame was established 30 years ago by the German team of Kurt Albert, Wolfgang Güllich, Christoph Stiegler and Milan Sykora, who freed about 80 per cent of the route, with pitches up to 5.12.

They couldn’t free four pitches. The Swiss climber Denis Burdet freed two more pitches (5.12d and 5.13a) of Eternal Flame in 2003, and Iker Pou from Spain found a possible free-climbing solution to the bolt ladder on the tenth pitch in 2005 but was unable to redpoint his 5.13b variation because of poor weather.

Alex Huber said after: “There’s no doubt we were extremely lucky. The weather was great, which meant…the cracks which were free of ice. I take my hat off to the achievement and free climbing instinct of the first ascenders…[who] have passed on the best and most beautiful free climb on the globe. We are thrilled that we could play a little part in developing this route!”


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The Huber brothers wrote on their website after the first free ascent: “The featureless granite at the traverse was exactly as it has been described to us: featureless.

“But there was another chance! From the beginning of the pendulum-traverse we climbed straight up along thin cracks for about thirty meters and then traversed left through almost vertical, but featured slabs into the crack-system of the Eternal Flame. And it worked!”

At the time, this was one of the biggest news stories in the world of climbing.

Eternal Flame

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