The Ogre Team Opens New Route On Nearby Baintha Kabata

Although bad weather foiled the European team on The Ogre, they tried to leave in style by climbing something exciting nearby. They went for the mountain known as Baintha Kabata — The Ogre’s Son.

“We saw the light at the end of the tunnel at last,” Symon Welfringer told his home team by satellite phone today. “After our attempts on The Ogre [failed], our eyes shifted to a shorter project: a superb 1,000m pillar.”

Welfringer and remaining partners Matteo della Bordella and Silvan Schupbach targeted the south pillar of Baintha Kabata, a 6,290m peak some 16km from base camp. They studied the forecasts, chose the three best (least bad) days, then skied up to the pillar along the Choktoi Glacier.

Francois Cazzanelli, the fourth member of The Ogre’s team, didn’t participate in this second climb.

Two days, alpine style

A little tent in fresch snow and ski tracks heading towards a snowfield and, in background, the targetted face.

Baintha Kabata. Photo: Matteo della Bordella/Instagram


According to Welfringer, what followed was 1,000m of climbing on compact rock broken only by some straight cracks. Each pitch was more beautiful than the previous one, he added.

“We needed two days,” Matteo della Bordela told the Italian Alpine Club. “On the first day, we gained 700m and bivouacked on a snow patch. On the second day, we reached the summit and descended. We were so lucky to get the best out of this short summit window! It was already snowing when we reached the summit.”

Ogres and aliens

Colin Haley and Maxime Turgeon made the first ascent of Baintha Kabatta in 2008. Like Welfringer and his partners, they too originally aimed for the southeast pillar of The Ogre. After their defeat, they climbed the south ridge of Baintha Kabatta instead, via the Choktoi Glacier. It was Haley who named the peak The Ogre’s Son.

The 2023 route has a difficulty of 7a/M5 and a cryptic name: The Alien Face. “[It] refers to the extraterrestrial incursions that we observed during our stay,” Welfringer said mysteriously.

Angela Benavides

Angela Benavides graduated university in journalism and specializes in high-altitude mountaineering and expedition news. She has been writing about climbing and mountaineering, adventure and outdoor sports for 20+ years.

Prior to that, Angela Benavides spent time at/worked at a number of local and international media. She is also experienced in outdoor-sport consultancy for sponsoring corporations, press manager and communication executive, and a published author.