Eternal Flame is one of the most demanding big wall tours in the world. The Spaniard Edu Marin wants to secure the first free ascent of the original route.

The big wall route Eternal Flame at the Trango Towers in the Karakoram, Pakistan, was made up of the strong German team Kurt Albert, Wolfgang Güllich, Christof Stiegler and Milan Sykora first rose in 1989. They only climb a few pitches technically.

In the years that followed, numerous climbing professionals tried the line, with little success. First the team made up of Denis Burdet, Nicolas Zambretti and Tony Arbones took a significant step forward in 2003 with the free ascent of two technical pitches.

Two years later the Spaniards climbed Iker and Eneko Pou a variation of the 10th pitch and paved the way for a complete red point ascent. This was denied to the Spaniards. Bad weather thwarted their plans.

Thomas and Alexander Huber after the free ascent of Eternal Flame. (Photo Franz Hinterbrandner)

The German brothers managed a first free ascent Alexander and Thomas Huber in 2009. But they too climbed a variation. Edu Marin, again a Spaniard, has now set himself the goal of freely climbing the pure original line of the first-time ascent team.

One of the first books about climbing that I read was the biography of Wolfgang Güllich. In it he describes the adventurous expedition in Pakistan together with Kurt Albert and other friends. Since then, the curiosity to travel to this region has remained.

Edu Marin

Babsi Zangerl and Jacopo Larcher will soon also be in Pakistan

Soon a queue forms at the foot of the wall of the Trango Towers, because the climbing couple too Babsi Zangerl and Jacopo Larcher travel to Pakistan to free climb the route. The race can begin.

Facts about Eternal Flame

Location: S. Buttress, Nameless Tower, Trango, Karakoram, Pakistan.
First ascent: Kurt Albert, Wolfgang Güllich, Christof Stiegler, Milan Sykora, September 1989
Original rating: VI, 7b +, A2.
First free ascent: Thomas and Alexander Huber August 2009
Rating free climbing: 7c +
Length: 650m, 24 pitches
Height: 6 m above sea level

EOFT short film with the Huber brothers

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Credits: Titelbild zVg