On October 21st, Valery Babanov and Sergey Kofanov summitted Jannu along it’s West Ridge, putting up the first ascent by that route. Jannu is a 7710m peak located near the border of Nepal and Sikkim, and not far from Kangchenjunga. ExWeb not only followed the climb closely at the time, but has now conducted a post-climb interview with Valery to get his thoughts on the mountain itself.
The interview is a good read with lots of information directly from the climbers themselves. The two went alpine style up the mountain, using no fixed ropes, carrying all their gear as they went, and making camp where they could. In total, their backpacks weighed a mere 40 pounds each, with all the gear they needed for an eight day climb to the summit.
The route had only been attempted once before, and when asked why, Valery responded:
I believe it’s because this route is difficult and very long. Its vertical drop is around 3,000 m and my estimation is that the route is at least 4,500 m long.
Nothing like a 3000m drop to get your heart going. That’s a mere 9843 feet.
In the interview they also discuss why they chose the route, what it was like to spend the night at 7600m without sleeping bags, and what might be possibly next on the list of climbs.
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