Maynadier and Schaeli Return To Meru South with Simon Gietl

Mathieu Mainadier and Roger Schaeli have said that they would return to Meru South (6,660m), and they have kept their promise. After weather thwarted their first attempt in the fall of 2019, they are returning to attempt the same peak in India’s Garhwal Himalaya.

They have changed the third member of the team, though. Instead of Sean Villanueva O’Driscoll, they’ll have Simon Gietl, the restless climber from the Italian Dolomites.

Maynadier climbing in mixed terrain on a difficult alpine route.

Mathieu Maynadier. Photo: Facebook


Jost Kobusch’s regular photographer, Daniel Hug, will document the expedition.

There are not many details about the dates, the exact line they’ll follow (East Face again?) or the strategy. Maynadier has simply confirmed the plans with a short post on Instagram, together with a short video of the mountain:

Meru is a breathtaking granite massif with three spires, located between Gauri Shankar and Shivling, in the Garhwal Himalaya. The central spire, known as the Shark Fin, has been the dream goal for some of the best climbers of the last 30 years,. The peak became famous for general audiences after Jimmy Chin’s film Meru. It documents the first complete ascent by Chin, Conrad Anker and Renan Ozturk in 2011.

The southern spire that Maynadier and partners intend to climb is the highest of the three. It was first attempted by Jordi Coromonas of Spain in 2002. (Later, Coromonas notably achieved the only repetition of K2’s Magic Line.)

On the previous attempt, Maynadier, Schaeli, and O’Driscoll attempted the East Face. They launched two attempts amid weeks of relentless snowfall but only managed to reach 6,400m.

Previously, South Korea’s Kim Sae-Joon, Wang Jun-Ho, and Kim Tae-Man climbed Meru South’s Gate to the Sky route (VII, 6a, A5), via the southeast side of the mountain.

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.