Czech and Slovak Expedition Karakoram 2005
A Czech and Slovak expedition was active in the Baltoro Region from 26th July to 31st Aug. 2005. Among the members, there were 8 climbers from Slovakia (Gabo Èmárik, Andrej Kolárik, Igor Koller, Jozef Kopold, Vladimír Linek, Pavol Pekarèík Juraj Podìbraský, Erik Rabatin) and 4 climbers from the Czech Republic (Milan Benian, Martin Klonfar, Petr Piechowicz, Miroslav Turek). Igor Koller was the expedition leader.
Èmárik, Kopold, Koller and Linek had visited this region in the year 2004 but they had to leave some projects unfinished then, and so they decided to return in 2005. Their goal was to make several first ascents round the Trango Glacier.
The most important goal was set by Gabo Èmárik and Jozef Kopold. They wanted to make a new line in alpine style on the south face of Great Trango, to the right of Azeem Ridge, an American route from 2004.
Èmárik and Kopold started in good weather early in the morning on 4th Aug. 2005. They took 2 small rucksacks, food for 4 days, no sleeping bag, no pads, no fixed ropes and no walkie-talkie. They wanted to climb simultaneously below 1000 meters, but the terrain was difficult and they had to climb it with a rope. Their progress was slow. On the second day the weather worsened; it started raining and snowing. On the fourth day they reached the headwall. During the night it was very cold: -15oC. The pair spent a hard bivy on the wall: without sleeping bags, in strong wind and heavy snowfall. The next day their progress was even slower; the rock was icy and covered with a lot of snow. On the fifth day they ate their last food still below the summit ridge. Finally, at noon on the 7th day, they reached the ridge.
Èmárik and Kopold climbed more than 3000 metres in vertical cracks, with many pendulums, on wet slabs with poor protection and in loose chimneys. They had intended to descend via the normal route, but because of a large amount of snow on the ridge they decided to rappel down the NW face. They were descending all afternoon and all the night that followed. Jozef Kopold fell with an avalanche but luckily stopped after 150 meters. Gabo Èmárik fell 30 m on icy slabs, but he as well was lucky. They were very tired. After 16 hours of rappelling, they finally reached the Trango BC at 5.00 am, on 11th Aug. 2005. They named the route Assalam Alaikum.
S face of Great Trango (6250 m)
the first ascent, in alpine style, in the first try
8 A2 ABO, ca 90 pitches
Dodo Kopold (BEAL, PETZL, Yak&Yeti, YakSteam), Gabo Èmárik (KAYLAND, Buff)
They left only 3 pitons and 2 bolts for a pendulum on the route. For rappelling, they used 8 bolts and the rest of their equipment.