Swiss on Trango Tower
In July and August Swiss climbers, Francesco Pellanda, Giovanni Quirici and Christophe Steck with a photographer, Evrard Wendenbaum, attempted to make the first free ascent of Gran Diedre Desplomado on Pakistan's Trango Tower (6239m). The team spent in total twelve days and five nights on the wall. Reaching the summit on August 2, they completed the route's second ascent, but failed to free the entire line (finally they used aid only on three pitches: 13, 15, and 16). According to what they estimated the 13th pitch would go completely free at around 5.13b.
The route was established by French-Swiss team of four, Michel Piola, Stephane Schaffler, Michel Fauquet and Patrick Delale in 1987 (Fauquet parapented off the summit). These four climbed 1100-meter line on the west pillar at VI 6c A4, 27 pitches. In 2004 a highly experienced big wall climber, Alfredo Madinabetia (Namkor 6b+ A6, 1550m, new route on Amin Brakk; repeat of Norwegian Route on Great Trango) attempted to make the second ascent of the route. Eventually he scaled 14 pitches in 17 days, climbing solo in capsule style.
Free routes on Trango Tower:
Slovenian Route (Slavko Cankar, Franèek Knez, Bojan Šrot, 1987), first RP ascent in 1988 at 7a+ by Kurt Albert, Wolfgang Güllich and Hartmut Munchenbach
Cowboy Direct, a direct start to the 1988 Swiss-Polish Route (VI 5.10 A3, 1100m, Wojciech Kurtyka, Erhard Loretan, 1988) freed at 5.13a in 1995 by Steve Bechtel, Mike Lilygren, Bobby Model and Todd Skinner
Almost-free routes on Trango Tower:
Eternal Flame VI 7b+ A2, 35 pitches, Kurt Albert, Wolfgang Güllich, Christof Stiegler, Milan Sykora, 1989. The best effort to date was made by Denis Burdet and Nicolas Zambretti from Switzerland and Toni Arbones from Spain in 2003 at 5.13a (two crux pitches) and A0 (15-meter section of blank granite with a bolt ladder, it can be bypassed via two-pitch variation to the right which was unsuccesfully attempted by Iker and Eneko Pou in 2005).
Gran Diedre Desplomado VI 6c A4, 27 pitches, Michel Piola, Stephane Schaffler, Michel Fauquet, Patrick Delale, 1987. Francesco Pellanda, Giovanni Quirici and Christophe Steck climbed 24 out of 27 pitches free, July-August 2006.