Holecek and Groh’s New Line on Baruntse’s…West Face

Still in Kathmandu, Marek Holecek has shared the first photo map of the new Heavenly Trap route that he has just completed with Radoslav Groh.

After some initial confusion — he previously said that they were climbing Baruntse’s Northwest Face — he has confirmed that it was actually the West Face. It lies to the left of a line that a Russian team climbed in 1995.

Holecek and Groh approached the face from the Hunku Glacier, south of the mountain. The Czech magazine Horyinfo published the route map.

Damien Gildea remarks in a comment to a previous ExWeb story that Baruntse’s West face (or WSW Face, according to some sources) appears well-covered in snow after the monsoon, when most trekkers pass it on their way to the Amphu Lapcha Pass. “In pre-monsoon conditions (as Holecek and Groh found it), it is quite dry and relatively rocky, making it more difficult,” Gildea wrote.

Sergey Efimov, the leader of the Russian expedition, enthusiastically congratulated the Czech climbers, according to Anna Piunova of mountain.ru. “[A] beautiful line!” he wrote. “Baruntse still gives us a thrill. Good job, guys.”

The 1995 Russian Route on Baruntse’s West Pillar, to the right of Holecek and Groh’s new line. Photo: mountain.ru


The Russian expedition was, by the way, another beautiful chapter in classic mountaineering. “Why should we speak about it?” Efimov told mountain.ru regretfully. “No one climbs like that anymore.”