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Vidal's Twenty Five Days Alone
Posted on: November 2, 2010
Topping out at the top of the wall in the dark after twenty five days.
Silvia Vidal arrived in the Kinnaur Valley in Himachal Pradesh, India at the beginning of August with nothing but gear, a picture and map coordinates for the wall she intended to climb. With food and equipment for 18 days Vidal hoped to make a first ascent, and to feel "the good loneliness", the kind that one seeks. In typical Vidal fashion, she did not bring a radio, GPS, or satellite phone to communicate with the outside world. Over the the next month Vidal would experience her share of loneliness, desperation and horrible weather as she slowly moved up the kilometer high wall creating Naufragi (A4+, 6A+).
Her solo journey began when the last porter left her with the equipment in an impenetrable fog at base camp. Never seeing the full wall due to low visibility, Vidal searched blindly for an approach to her climb, eventually settling upon what she described as a "river/ravine" where she fixed her first ropes to aid her in carrying her gear to advance base camp.
After fixing the first three pitches above ABC (her portaledge hanging from the side of a boulder), Vidal cut loose from the ground with food and water for eighteen days. At one point after weeks on the wall with daily rain and fog Vidal found herself below featureless stone without enough bolts to rig rappel anchors for a descent. She down climbed part of a pitch before deciding that the climb was far from over and continued up the wall.
After pushing her rations from eighteen days to twenty five, and at one point even resorting to drilling bat holes in order to continue, Vidal topped out on the wall and began her descent. She had spent over a month preparing and climbing alone. She had passed out from hypothermia while jumaring. And she had reached the top of the wall. The name of her route Naufragi means Shipwreck in Catalan.
Read a brief interview with Vidal about Naufragi on the next page.
Vidal hauling her bedding in the change from Camp 1 to Camp 2. [Photo] Silvia Vidal