Romanians climb Zanskar Supercouloir

Posted by Lindsay Griffin on 30/07/2016
Seen across an unnamed glacier basin, the southwest face of the south summit of T16, with the Supercouloir marked. Cosmin Andron
View 1 of 3

The Romanian couple Cosmin Andron and Cristina Pogacean have made the first ascent of the south summit of T16 in India's Zanskar Range by the 1,200m Supercouloir.

Andron will be known to some members of the British climbing community, as he was a member of the BMC and Alpine Club for a number of years during his residence in the UK as a philosophy lecturer and tutor at the University of London.

Pogacean is a civil engineer and also a talent female mountaineer;  couple of years ago the two spent their honeymoon attempting a new route on Bhagirathi I in the Gangotri.

Andron and Pogacean organized a lightweight, self-funded trip with two Indian friends to an area of mountains south of the Padam road that had been visited previously by an elderly Japanese team led by explorer Kimikazu Sakamoto.

Sakamoto has organized a number of trekking trips into the region's various valleys in order to document their mountains, both photographically and by the production of sketch maps that will benefit future mountaineering parties.

The many unnamed, unclimbed mountains have been coded with letters and numbers, hence T13 and T16, the two peaks that formed the objectives for the Indo-Romanian group.

Sakamoto's work has led to a number of peaks being climbed over the last few years, primarily by British, Swiss and Japanese teams. However, most have tackled the mountains by their easiest lines.

After the four made an acclimatization attempt on 6,436m T13, thwarted by the unexpected complexity of the terrain, Andron and Pogacean turned to the southwest face of T16 opposite, which was split by an elegant snow couloir leading to more technical ground.

From a high camp at 5,200m the pair climbed swiftly up the long snowy section of couloir, finding relatively straightforward conditions with a couple of short steps of 75°.

When this ended with a constriction and an unpleasant seven metre section of polish rock and rotten ice, they began to get an inkling of what was to come.

Above this, with the sun now moving onto the face and causing rockfall, the climbers quickly found a sheltered bivouac spot and stopped for the night.

Next day they continued up more moderate ground interrupted by two long crux pitches.  The first, 60m of steep poor ice, was followed by a difficult poorly protected mixed pitch of the same length.

After a second bivouac they left most of their gear and above a few initial wet pitches over relatively good rock, ended up moving left onto a beautiful rock face.

On dry granite, in the sun, they were able to climb in rock shoes, and as they progressed higher they began to enjoy some of the best rock climbing that either had done in high mountains.

Passing a false top and continuing via an arête, they reached the south summit in late afternoon. The north summit was at least a kilometre away along a pinnacled ridge. With no idea which was the higher top (the mountain is designated 6,431m by the Indian Mountaineering Foundation) they called it quits there.

Rappelling and downclimbing the route, they eventually walked onto the glacier in the middle of the night and were back in base camp holding a hot mug of chocolate at 3 a.m. on their fourth day.

The Supercouloir was graded ED, WI4+ M5/6 6b C1 75°
 



« Back

Post a comment Print this article

This article has been read 1612 times

TAGS

Click on the tags to explore more

RELATED ARTICLES

Women in Adventure 2019: and the awards go to...
0
Women in Adventure 2019: and the awards go to...

Congratulations to the winners of the 2019 BMC and Womenclimb Women in Adventure film competition! What a fantastic bunch of inspiring films and what a great way to celebrate them all at the Sheffield Adventure Film Festival.
Read more »

Staggering record of female-led adventure entries to the 2019 Women in Adventure Film Competition
1
Staggering record of female-led adventure entries to the 2019 Women in Adventure Film Competition

We’ve been flooded with a wave of fantastic fresh entries to the fifth annual BMC TV & Womenclimb Women in Adventure Film Competition. A whopping 33 films were entered this year, with a £1,200 prize pool up for grabs. The busy filmmakers and athletes have put down their cameras, taken off their trainers and are ready to share their doses of adventure with you.
Read more »

Whole lotta love: the BMC at Kendal Mountain Festival 2018
0
Whole lotta love: the BMC at Kendal Mountain Festival 2018

Another banging Kendal Mountain Festival was had. We loved it, we hope you did too! Thanks for all the amazing comments from you lovely people about our exhibition celebrating women in mountaineering and climbing throughout the ages, it was great to see everyone interacting with it and our polaroid competition. And of course another sensational BMC TV Breakfast Club capped the weekend off beautifully!
Read more »

Post a Comment

Posting as Anonymous Community Standards
3000 characters remaining
Submit
Your comment has been posted below, click here to view it
Comments are currently on | Turn off comments
2
Anonymous User
02/08/2016
https://www.thebmc.co.uk/new-peak-climbed-in-the-annapurna-sanctuary
Anonymous User
03/08/2016
Very well done,congrats!

RELATED ARTICLES

Women in Adventure 2019: and the awards go to...
0

Congratulations to the winners of the 2019 BMC and Womenclimb Women in Adventure film competition! What a fantastic bunch of inspiring films and what a great way to celebrate them all at the Sheffield Adventure Film Festival.
Read more »

Staggering record of female-led adventure entries to the 2019 Women in Adventure Film Competition
1

We’ve been flooded with a wave of fantastic fresh entries to the fifth annual BMC TV & Womenclimb Women in Adventure Film Competition. A whopping 33 films were entered this year, with a £1,200 prize pool up for grabs. The busy filmmakers and athletes have put down their cameras, taken off their trainers and are ready to share their doses of adventure with you.
Read more »

Whole lotta love: the BMC at Kendal Mountain Festival 2018
0

Another banging Kendal Mountain Festival was had. We loved it, we hope you did too! Thanks for all the amazing comments from you lovely people about our exhibition celebrating women in mountaineering and climbing throughout the ages, it was great to see everyone interacting with it and our polaroid competition. And of course another sensational BMC TV Breakfast Club capped the weekend off beautifully!
Read more »

BMC MEMBERSHIP
Join 82,000 BMC members and support British climbing, walking and mountaineering. Membership only £16.97.
Read more »
BMC SHOP
Great range of guidebooks, DVDs, books, calendars and maps.
All with discounts for members.
Read more »
TRAVEL INSURANCE
Get covered with BMC Insurance. Our five policies take you from the beach to Everest.
Read more »