Author Topic: MYSTERY WALL CLIMBED!  (Read 2850 times)

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Offline deuce4

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« on: October 17, 2010, 10:28:50 pm »
After seeing the "Mystery Wall" hammer contest (, Silvia Vidal wrote to me for more info, which I happily provided, and now she has completed a route up this magnificent stone in one of the world's most beautiful places. She asked me if she should keep the name "Mystery Wall", but of course I told her she should name it whatever she likes!

Silvia Vidal has always been a hero of mine for her bold ascents, and was once featured in one of my A5 catalogs.

Here is the line:

From Silvia:
Hi John,
I'm sending you the information I've writen from the ascent.
Also the line picture.
Thanks again for all.
Here is some information about the last ascent I did this summer in Kinnaur Valley, India. It was a solo ascent and I spent 25 days (from 15th August to 8th September both included) on the wall, during this summer?s strong monsoon.
It has been a hard experience for me.
I went to India accompanied by my friend Eul?lia Sancho, she came to the BC and then left to continue her trip.
As always I didn?t take a phone, Internet or any kind of device to communicate.
The result was ?Naufragi? (shipwreck in Catalan) 1.050 meters climbed, A4+/6a+ at 5.250m. in the Kailash Parbat range. I didn?t get to the main summit of the mountain, which was still far away (I haven?t seen it, it?s a huge mountain), but to the end of the main wall.
A wall picture and its localization on Google Earth was all the information I had. I found it at John Middendorf?s web page. 
The area; Kinnaur valley, Himachal Pradesh, India.
Without knowing where to start the approach, once in the valley, showing the picture to the locals and taking some porters, we started to walk up in the middle of the rain.
They left the haulbags in the middle of the fog at 3.800m and left.
In the 7 days that I spent on this BC I never saw the whole wall. I spent two days trying to find the access to the wall because there was no visibility and I had no idea were the wall was.
I had to fix some ropes on the way up.
The approach to the wall is like trying to hike up a river ravine. Complicated and slippery.
I set ABC (4.430m) close to the wall, the portaledge hanging on a boulder, because there was no flat place to put the tent between the BC and the base of the wall.   
I fixed the 3 first pitches (150m) and then spent 25 days hanging on the wall, alone, in horrible weather, because this year the monsoon has been very strong. A local newspaper published that the Kinnaur valley got 156% more rain than usual this year.
From the month and a half that I spent up on the mountain, there was rain and fog every single day.
One day, when jumaring, I lost consciousness, due to hypothermia because of excess of humidity.
I counted food and water for 18 days and finally I spent 25.
This and a bad logistic were the reason that more than once I thought to quit the route. But the motivation and the desire to stay there were stronger.
Fighting against my principles, from the 10th pitch (14 day) I started to make bat hooks (holes for hooks) to be able to progress through the monolithic faces. In some sections there was no natural line for extreme aid climbing.
I didn?t have enough bolts (spits) and I wasn?t able to descent from the route only for that reason. I down climbed part of a pitch but then I realised that I didn?t want to leave the wall, I was too motivated to leave even if the weather was so bad and it took me too much efforts so far. I always thought that the weather was going to change, but it didn?t...
I tried not to use the bat hooks to increase the aid climbing grade. I mean; the A4 and A4+ are naturals, without drilled holes. That?s the price I had to pay for going on an expedition without knowing about the area and the wall. And I need to explain it.

Thanks for visiting the Big Walls Forum!!
John Middendorf

Offline mungeclimber

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« Reply #1 on: October 17, 2010, 10:56:28 pm »
such deep digging. it's hard to imagine the fortitude and discipline it took to keep going.

Offline goatboy

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« Reply #2 on: October 18, 2010, 03:13:59 pm »
Wow what a great adventure, congratulations Silvia!

Offline johnmac

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« Reply #3 on: October 19, 2010, 11:59:27 am »
wow, what an amazing effort...

Offline *Mucci*

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« Reply #4 on: February 15, 2012, 09:31:39 pm »

Sargentana on the porcelin wall fell to this FA'ist.

So rad, take a pic and a few months and crush something like this....


AAJ 2010 was a good read.

Offline lambone

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« Reply #5 on: February 15, 2012, 09:52:30 pm »
That's badass!