On March 25, Clint Helander and Andres Marin stood on top of Golgotha (8,940′) in Alaska’s Revelation Range after completing the first ascent of Shaft of the Abyss (VI AI5 R M5 90° Snow A0, ca. 4,000′). They had previously attempted the route three times together in 2016, 2017 and 2018, reaching a high point about halfway up in 2017 with Leon Davis before a crampon broke.
The recipients of the 2022 Grit and Rock Award for female first ascents have been announced. This year’s winners include Priti and Jeff Wright (USA); Lise Billion, Maud Vanpoulle (France) and Raphaela Haug (Germany); Nadine Lehner, Isidora Llarena and Rebeca Caceres Lente (Chile); plus a general grant to the French National Female Alpine Team (ENAF). The grant is intended to bolster female participation and leadership in exploration and alpine-style ascents. Teams of any nationality that are led by, or composed mostly of, women are eligible.
A big decision that was anticipated to be made this April has been pushed back to summer after the continued outpouring of comments regarding the future of Little Cottonwood Canyon just outside of Salt Lake City, Utah. The decision facing the Utah Department of Transportation is whether to proceed with one of two plans: build a massive tramway along the length of the canyon to serve the ski areas, or widen the road for expanded bus service. The Salt Lake Climbers Alliance and other groups say those plans are too focused on the ski resorts during the winter and that there are other options that would better preserve the climbing and access to other parts of the canyon while protecting the natural environment and beauty of the area.
Carlo Traversi has once again proven himself as one of the best all-around rock climbers in the world, with his recent redpoint of Yosemite’s Magic Line (5.14c) on February 27. Traversi is the fourth person to send the route, and the third to do it placing all the thin gear on lead. This ascent also makes him the only person to have sent both Magic Line and Meltdown, another thin crack in Yosemite (first climbed by Beth Rodden in 2008) that has earned the grade of 5.14c.
American Alpine Club’s Annual Award and Benefit Gala resumes in-person event in Denver after two-year hiatus
The American Alpine Club’s Annual Award and Benefit Gala is returning to an in-person event in Denver, Colorado, on Saturday, March 26, but people will still have the option to tune in online this year. Jordan Cannon and Mark Hudon are this year’s keynote speakers, and the awardees are Pat Ament, Sean Bailey, Natalia Grossman, John Heilprin, John Kascenska, David Nyman, Rick Reese and Joe Terravecchia. Arlene Blum and Steve Roper are receiving honorary AAC memberships.
Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on February 24, some Russian climbers have publicly spoken out against their country’s aggression. In a country known for reprisals against people who openly oppose President Vladimir Putin’s regime, this act involves personal risk. Meanwhile Ukrainian climbers confront the attacks on their country. The Russian climbing website Mountain.RU posted an open letter, which hundreds of people had signed by March 2 and other professional climbers have shared statements of their own.
International climbing organizations cancel events in Russia in response to the country’s invasion of Ukraine
In response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on February 24, the International Olympic Committee called for the cancellation of all sporting events that were scheduled in Russia and Belarus. In turn, the International Federation of Sport Climbing (IFSC) and the International Climbing and Mountaineering Federation (UIAA) have cancelled the World Cup sport and ice climbing competitions slated to take place in March and April.
From January 13 to 18, Charles Dubouloz completed what is likely the first solo winter ascent of Rolling Stones (5.10 A3, or M8, 1100m) a rarely repeated route on the fabled north face of the Grandes Jorasses above Chamonix, France. He spent six days with five bivies on the wall, pressing on through strong winds and low temperatures of -30°C (-22°F), sustaining some frostbite to a big toe.
On Thursday, January 27, two teams of climbers summited Cerro Torre together after completing two new, parallel routes up the Patagonian tower. But while they were descending, an avalanche injured Tomas “Tommy” Aguilo (Argentina) and killed 41-year-old Corrado “Korra” Pesce (Italy). A rescue effort involved more than 40 people toiling for nearly two days without sleep.
Polish climbers Marcin “Yeti” Tomaszewski and Damian “Dany” Bielecki completed a new big wall aid route in Pakistan’s Karakoram Range on a 700-meter cliff known as the Uli Biaho Gallery. They spent 11 days establishing Frozen Fight Club (M7 A3, 780m) on December 5-16. Frozen Fight Club might be the first big wall route in the region that was climbed during the coldest season.