The Ogre Wins Again: No-Go on Baintha Brakk I

The Ogre gained its fearsome name for a reason. Relentless bad weather has forced the European team on Baintha Brakk I to give up its attempt to climb the East Pillar.

Francois Cazzanelli and Matteo della Bordella of Italy, Silvan Schupbach of Switzerland, and Symon Welfringer spent all of July in its shadow, waiting for an opportunity that never came. Now their holidays have ended, and they have to return home to work as mountain guides.

“On the second day of our attempted opening on the southeast pillar of the Ogre (7,200m), we had to turn around in the snow,” Symon Welffrnger posted on social media. “With 20-30cm of snowfall, it seemed [too] complex to us to continue.”

They returned to base camp, still hoping for a promised break in the weather. It never came. Instead, it rained on the glacier.

“It is not for nothing that this superb line has not yet been climbed,” said Welfringer.

They seized their one day without rain to retrieve the gear they had left behind on the route.

Using their downtime

the climbers pose in tshirts and sunglasses on a wide fluvial valley with mountains in background.

The Ogre I team before their approach trek. Matteo della Bordella is on the right. Photo: Ragni di Lecco


The team managed to pass the time in base camp opening routes on nearby walls. One of them was 400m long, and they also did some shorter, sport-climbing lines with grades up to 8a+ (which means, extremely difficult).

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.