On January 17 Andy Parkin completed a solo ascent on the north face of Nepal’s Dingjung Ri (6249m). Parkin climbed the route over the course of three days with two cold and windy biviouacs on the Denali-sized mountain. Little is known about the nature of the climb except that the terrain reaches angles of 85 degrees. The BMC has quoted Parkin saying it was “one of the hardest trips I can remember.”
When Andy Parkin speaks such words climbers should take notice. In the early 1980s Parkin freed Fenrir (5.13b/c) in the Verdun Gorge, made an alpine-style ascent of Broad Peak and the first winter solo of the Walker Spur. Over the last 30 years Parkin has been active in the mountains of Alaska, Argentina, Pakistan and at home in Chamonix. Parkin is known not only for his impressive climbing resume but also for his artistic vision. In an article for Alpinist 28, Parkin told Ed Douglas, “The how is so important in climbing. It’s the reason we do it. It’s gratifying to be successful, to have ambitions and all that. But the actual execution has got be as pure ethically as I can make it. Otherwise, there’s no point. I’d rather not go near it. I don’t ever want to become complacent about anything. For fear of losing that edge. The creative edge, not the sporting one.”
Check out Ed Douglas’s article “A Muscular Imagination – Andy Parking and the Art of Climbing” in Alpinist 28 for more on Parkin’s art and climbing.