In October, the Swiss professional alpinists Stephan Siegrist and Jonas Schild, together with Andy Schnarf, made the first ascent of the "Kirti Nose" (4950 m above sea level) in the Indian state of Uttarakhand. The three alpinists christened the 350 meter long route with a difficulty level of 7b Between two parties.

A testimonial from Stephan Siegrist

In early September we traveled to the region Garhwal in India. Finally arrived, but it quickly became clear that mountaineering and climbing would probably turn out a little differently than planned. The monsoon lasted an unusually long time this year and surprised us with large amounts of fresh snow.

"In view of the impending avalanche danger, after four weeks of waiting we had to accept that our main goal will probably remain unachieved."

Stephan Siegrist
Expedition India
The first ascent trio from Between Two Parties (350m, 7b/A3): Andy Schnarf, Jonas Schild and Stephan Siegrist.

A rock outcrop like the Nose on El Capitan

But a four-day weather window opened up with exceptionally just a few centimeters of fresh snow. An opportunity for an alternative project that we didn't want to miss: While we were waiting at the base camp, a rock face kept catching our eyes.

"400 meters high and with an amazing resemblance to the Nose on El Captan, we officially declared the rocky outcrop to be our project."

Stephan Siegrist

Relatively easy to reach, south-facing and accordingly dry quickly - the ideal destination for the short window of fine weather. So we tackled the 4950-foot peak on the edge of the Kirti Glacier, which we «Kirti Nose» baptized.

For the first 150 meters we moved in perfect rock quality - fantastic crack climbing during the first five pitches. During the next four pitches we encountered loose scales in the rock. That made this passage much more challenging.

traces of the past

Up to the middle of the 6th pitch we encountered traces of a first ascent. The age of the material suggests that this took place in the 90s or early 2000s. But we could not find anyone who tried to climb the pillar in front of us. After the old abseil station, no further material could be found.

«We climbed past the traces of the past and were rewarded for it. On the last 120 meters we enjoyed partly steep wall climbing with the finest rock quality.»

Stephan Siegrist

We reached the summit just before dark. After four days, after ten rope lengths of difficulty 7b/A3 and 350 meters of climbing, we were at the highest point of the imposing rock pillar. We happily hugged each other. Grateful that we were able to celebrate this success despite the grueling late monsoon weather.

The topo of the new route Between two parties, first climbed by Stephan Siegrist, Jonas Schild and Andy Schnarf in October 2022.
The topo of the new route Between two parties, first climbed by Stephan Siegrist, Jonas shield and Andy Schnarf in October 2022.

Despite our success, the time in India also has a stale aftertaste. A tragic avalanche accident happened on Mount Draupadi ka Danda II, only 24 kilometers as the crow flies from our base camp. As part of the mountaineering community, such events are always very upsetting. We would like to express our heartfelt condolences to all of the bereaved and wish them strength and confidence.

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Credits: Cover picture Christopher Detschmann and item images Christopher Detschmann, Stephan Siegrist, Jonas shield and Andy Schnarf

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