Americans make the second ascent of Cat’s Ears Spire
Micah Dash and Eric DeCaria made the second ascent of Cat’s Ears Spire (Trango area, Pakistan’s Karakoram range) via a 12-pitch variation to the original route. The Americans climbed the 1,200 m Super Cat VI 5.11 R A1 in alpine style. They spent three bivouacs on the wall without sleeping bags.
No pins or bolts were placed on the route offering multiple pitches of “mandatory run-out 5.11 offwidth, squeeze chimney, and face climbing”. To stand on the needle-like summit, both climbers had to lead and downclimb the unprotected 10m pitch going to the top.
The first ascent of Cat’s Ears Spire was made in 2000 by two Americans Jonnathan Copp and Mike Pennings. Their first foray was blocked by bad weather but on the second attempt it took them just two days to put up Freebird VI 5.11+ A0, a 1,200m route that went all free except three pendulums. To move faster, they climbed light, forsaking haulbags and portaledges in favor of one small tent and a single sleeping bag.
Sources: climbing.com, Climbing No. 199, AAJ 2001, High 221