Big sigh of relief. After 18 (!) days on the seven-thousander Jannu in western Nepal, the two Russian climbers Dmitry Golovchenko and Sergey Nilov have returned safe and sound. In a picture spread on social media, they look emaciated, but happy. Two and a half weeks ago, Dmitry and Sergey had entered the East Face of the 7,710-meter-high mountain near the eight-thousander Kangchenjunga. They wanted to climb the complex wall that has still not been completely mastered for the first time up to the summit. The third in the group, the Pole Marcin Tomaszewski, had not felt sufficiently acclimatized and therefore had not entered the wall.
Six days of descent
The bad weather – strong wind and snowfall – caused Golovchenko and Nilov to abandon their plan below the headwall and to climb towards the Southeast Ridge. For days they were stuck at above 7,000 meters and could hardly get any further. Last Thursday the two climbers finally managed to reach the ridge at around 7,300 meters. The descent was also difficult in poor visibility. Dmitry and Sergey fought their way down the mountain for six days before arriving at base camp today.
Even if they did not reach the summit, Golovchenko and Nilov have every reason to celebrate and be celebrated. The two-time Piolet-d’Or winners from Russia have not only survived their odyssey on Jannu, but have also given impressive testimony to their exceptional climbing skills and stamina. Hats off!