We can’t offer you much more information because the news came after 6pm (9pm Pakistan time) by way of a one-minute phone call from the summit. But the news is that Alex and Ekaitz have climbed the Eternal Flame route to the Nameless Tower in only 36 hours. It was a veritable race against the clock – they left yesterday at 6:00 in the morning and tomorrow they have to be back at base camp to meet the porters and head home.
These were the words from the summit “Kaixoooo!! (‘helloooo’ in Basque). We’re on the summit of the Nameless Tower! We started out yesterday at six in the morning. We rested a few hours on the ‘sun terrace’ and then made it to the top in one go. We counted 29 pitches. It’s an incredibly gorgeous route, really hard, but it was worth it. You can’t really compare the two, but this managed to wash the bad out of our mouths from the Bhusido descent. I have to hang up now because it’s cold as hell here!”
Alex Txikon and Ekaitz Maiz decided to attempt the Eternal Flame when descending the Great Trango Tower last Wednesday. They decided it was going to be an introspective climb for them, after the frustration of having to descend the North-East face of the Great Trango Tower (2.686 m) via the Bushido route. It was a complicated challenge for them, but they made it.
Eternal Flame is one of the most historical routes in big wall climbing. It was first climbed in 1989 by the German climbers Kurt Albert, Wolfgang Güllich, Christof Stiegler and Milan Sykora. The 1000 m ascent was visionary, with free climb at 7b+ (unthinkable back then for big wall) and A2.
We’ll have to wait for them to get back to base camp to hear more details about the climb, one of the fastest on record for the Eternal Flame. Just to give you an idea, it took Rubén Pérez, aka ‘Ino’, from La Rioja and Catalonian climber Paco Rey five days to climb the tower last week.
Congratulations Alex and Ekaitz!.