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Giri-Giri Boys Claim Second Ascent of Daddomain

Fumitaka Ichimura in 2005 on the first ascent of Shi-Shi, a major variation to Mt. Huntington’s Phantom Wall. Members of the group of Japanese alpinists known as the Giri-Giri-Boys continue to raise the bar of alpine climbing with hard routes done across the globe. [Photo] Katsutaka Yokoyama

At the 2011 Piolets d’Or, members of the jury asked Kyle Dempster and Bruce Normand if they would recommend their route The Rose of No Man’s Land, on Mt. Edgar’s east face (6618m), to other climbers. Their answer was. “No.” They explained that the only approach to the face is a terrain trap. This face is where, in 2009, Johnny Copp, Micah Dash and Wade Johnson were killed in an avalanche.

But Japanese climbers Fumitaka Ichimura, Ryo Masumoto and Takaaki Nagato felt that more routes on Edgar’s east face were possible. This spring they set up a base camp below the mountain and waited for the weather to clear. The weather did not cooperate. After ten days of poor weather the trio left camp with the intention of scouting their planned route. In the light rain they were unable to clearly see Edgar’s east face, but they could see Daddomain (6380m). (Climbed once in 2004, via the west ridge, by Kiwis Sean Waters and Jo Kippax)

After nearly two weeks of miserable weather below Mt. Edgar, the three Japanese climbers changed their objective to the east face of Daddomain and proceeded to set up an advanced base camp at 4100m. The next day they gained 1350m of elevation, crossing the bergschrund and passing through the central couloir to reach a bivy site at 5450m. The bivy conditions were well below a V on the Fowler bivy scale, and the climbers kept their boots on throughout the night. (According to Mick Fowler’s bivouac rating system I is hell and V is lying down.) Despite a meteorological turn for the worse the Japanese continued the next day, bivying at 5950m. On their third day of climbing, the weather remained bad and they dug in under a serac at 6100m, just below the summit ridge. They aborted a summit attempt the next day because of dangerous conditions and the risk of avalanches kept the team at their serac camp the following day as well. Finally, after their third night at 6100m Ichimura, Masumoto and Nagato left camp, summited in two hours under clear skies and descended the face with fifteen rappels. After over a week of waiting below Mt. Edgar they had climbed Daddomain in six days. No grade has been reported for their route but the difficulties included vertical ice intermixed with soft snow. readers will be familiar with the name Fumitaka Ichimura and it seems that the “new” members of the Giri-Giri boys are living up to the group’s reputation.

Source: The BMC