Decision Time on Jannu: Forward or Back?

The Russian pair are currently tentbound on the Southeast Face, within a couple of rope lengths of the easier Southeast Ridge.

Sergey Nilov and Dimitry Golovchenko face an impending decision — to continue climbing the last 500m to the summit of 7,710m Mount Jannu by the original 1962 French route (Southeast Ridge), or to abandon and descend.

Nilov’s and Golovchenko’s high point as of March 24. Photo: RussianClimb

Yesterday, March 25, the resilient duo got to within one or two rope lengths of the sloping shoulder of the Southeast Ridge, at an altitude of about 7,270m. Today, half a metre of snow fell, and they spent the day huddled in their tent, with diminishing supplies. They’ve been on the mountain for 11 days, and food and fuel are running low.

The last available position of Nilov and Golovchenko. Jannu is also known in Nepal as Kumbhakarna. Photo: RussianClimb

For the next 48 hours, the wind should drop and the snowfall taper off, potentially allowing for a summit push on Wednesday.

If Nylov and Golovchenko manage to top out, they are expected to downclimb the Southeast Ridge, as the Southeast Face is considered too complex and dangerous at this stage.

Related stories:

Russians Reach Crux on Jannu

Russians Move Slowly Up Jannu

Mount Jannu: Why is It So Hard?

About the Author

Ash Routen

Ash Routen

Ash Routen is an outdoor and adventure writer from the UK specialising in adventurous travel and expeditions, such as mountaineering, polar travel, and ocean crossings. Ash juggles a day job as a public health scientist with this second career in outdoor writing.

His words have featured in national newspapers, national and international outdoor and adventure magazines, and various websites. Bylines include Financial Times, Daily Telegraph, Outside Magazine, Rock and Ice, and Red Bull.

Alongside writing, Ash also spends some time undertaking his own adventures, and completed a 640 km foot crossing of a frozen Lake Baikal in 2018. His next arctic journey is a 700 km trek along the coast of Baffin Island in Canada.


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