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Chantel Astorga takes a stoked selfie during her solo ascent of Denali's Cassin Ridge. [Photo] Chantel Astorga

Chantel Astorga completes first female solo of Denali’s Cassin Ridge in 14 hours, 39 minutes

At 8 p.m. June 14, Chantel Astorga became the first woman to solo the Cassin Ridge on Denali (20,310′), completing the route in just 14 hours and 39 minutes. Generations of alpinists have considered the Cassin (Alaska Grade 5, 5.8, AI4) a formidable and coveted objective. Astorga, who works as an avalanche forecaster in Idaho told Alpinist, “I don’t generally solo big routes…. Time alone in the mountains has always been powerful for me in ways I can’t explain. I guess I simply just wanted to feel what it was like to be alone on a technical route in the big mountains and the Cassin Ridge seemed like a perfect fit.”

Baruntse (7129m): the red line shows Heavenly Trap (ABO+: VI+ M6+ 80°, 1300m) and the blue line shows the descent route. Dots indicate bivies. [Photo] Marek Holecek collection

Marek Holecek and Radoslav Groh endure an epic to complete a new route on Baruntse

On May 21, two-time Piolet d’Or recipient Marek “Mara” Holecek and fellow Czech climber Radoslav “Radar” Groh set out to climb a new route on the west face of Baruntse (7129m) in Nepal’s Hunku Valley. They packed food for six days–they were on the mountain for ten. After several storm-bound days on the way up and down, they encountered dangerous avalanche conditions at 6000 meters, near the end of their descent, and they were evacuated by helicopter, having completed Heavenly Trap (ABO+: VI+ M6+ 80°, 1300m). They dedicated the route to their friends Petr Machold and Kuba Vanek, who went missing during an attempt of the wall eight years ago.