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Russians Siege Trango, Put Up New Route

Trango Tower (6251m), Pakistan. In eight days, Dmitry Golovchenko, Sergey Nilov, Viktor Volodin and Alexander Yurkin put up No Fear (VII 6B+ A3, 1120m) on the formation’s northwest face.

[Photo] Victor Volodin

Last month, a four-man Russian team established a new route on the northwest face of Pakistan’s Trango Tower (6251m). No Fear (VII 6B+ A3, 1120m) put up by Dmitry Golovchenko, Sergey Nilov, Viktor Volodin and Alexander Yurkin, is the first largely independent route established on Trango Tower in more than a decade.

Trango’s northwest face is host to one other established route: Insumisioa (VI A3+ 6A), a 1995 creation of Basque climbers Antonio Aqueretta, Fermin Izco and Mikel Zabalza. The route’s name is a reference to draft dodging, a nod to the fact that the four of them were avoiding compulsory military service while on their expedition.

Volodin’s group started preparations for their climb on August 2, when they worked in pairs to fix five ropes along the planned route. On August 5, they began to ascend in capsule style, building three portaledge camps along the way. The route follows a prominent corner system and overlaps with Insumisioa on a sloping, snowy terrace for three pitches. No Fear then angles left to the summit of the tower. The crew aided much of the climb, but also free-climbed rock up to 6b+.

In total, they spent eight days climbing the formation. The weather was clear and sunny for the first five days, but conditions gradually deteriorated. The team summited on August 12 in snow, rain and brutally low temperatures.

An expedition jeep struggles through a boulder-strewn river near Ascole village on the way to the Trango Group. [Photo] Alex Yurkin

Officially, the expedition celebrated the eightieth anniversary of The Moscow Mountaineering and Climbing Federation, but Volodin says that the climb also satisfied a personal goal. On his first visit to the mountains of Pakistan in 1997, Volodin participated in the first ascent of the west face of K2. On his way back through the nearby village of Askole, Volodin glimpsed Trango Tower and could not forget its beautiful summit. He immediately decided to return someday. More than ten years later he said, “the stars finally aligned, as you say. It was my dream, and it came true.”

Victor Volodin displays his climbing club’s colors on the summit of Trango Tower, with Sergey Nilov and Dmitry Golovchenko.

[Photo] Alex Yurkin

For more news stories in the Trango Group, see the following articles:

Victor Volodin raps off of Trango after summiting the day before.
[Photo] Alex Yurkin

March 1, 2005 NewsWire

September 28, 2006 NewsWire

March 1, 2007 NewsWire

July 27, 2007 NewsWire

July 20, 2008 NewsWire

October 1, 2009 NewsWire

Alpinist 11 Mountain Profile

Sources: Viktor Volodin, Dmitry Golovchenko,,