Karakoram 2012: Climbing and Base Jumping Nameless Tower

The summer climbing season in the Karakoram is just starting to ramp up and we have another major expedition to keep an eye on in the weeks ahead. A team of climbers, mostly from France, has set its sights on not only climbing the 6240 meter (20,472 ft) Nameless Tower – one of the Trango Towers – but also BASE jumping from the top. They all this project the Trango Air Wall expedition and it is set to get underway next month.

The expedition, which looks to get underway around the 20th of July and last about a month, will go up the Eternal Flame route. That approach is on the Southeast Face and will require roughly three to five days to complete, all of it spent on the wall itself. The team, which consists of Liv Sansoz, Jérôme Blanc-Gras and Manu Guy, all of France, as well as Brit Tim Emmett, will attempt to free climb the face in a fast, minimalist approach. To do that they’ll have to overcome a difficult 800 meter (2624 ft) sheer rock face with 30 very challenging pitches, at altitude no less.

Of course, the climb is just the first part of the expedition because when they get to the top the four men intend to make the first-ever BASE jump off the tower itself. Using wingsuits and parachutes they hope to glide safely back where they started, with impressive views of the Baltoro Glacier, the Karakoram and K2 surrounding them. I’m not sure about the rest of you, but that is one helmet cam video that I’m already looking forward to!

You can find out more about his project, although you may need to use Google Translate, at the expedition’s official website.

Kraig Becker