Kedar Dome

Piolet D'Or 2006 nominees

Kedar Dome (6830 m), SE Pillar, Gangtori region of the Indian Garwhal.

First climb

Tim Emmett and Ian Parnell) (Britain)

Photos: The East Face of Kedar Dome. Emmett collection

The route graded ED+ Fr6c, M3, 2000m, was climbed alpine style over seven days on-sight and completely without aid. Smooth corner graded E3/4 6a at 6000m

Tim Emmett is one of Britain's most strongest all-rounders with numerous ascents up to E9.

Ian Parnell - two of his ascents have been nominated for the Piolet d'Or: one in 2003 for his new route on Annapurna SE Ridge, Nepal together with Kenton Cool and John Varco, and one in 2001 for his route "Knowledge" (ED+) climbed on the Mount Hunter's Moonflower Buttress (Alaska) together with Jules Cartwright.

Parnell had actually planned to climb that route with a fellow - British alpinist Kevin Thaw had tried this line a year or so ago and was raving about it's potential. But Kevin had to pull out. Tim pretty much invited himself and despite the fact he has never been to the Himalayas - in fact he's only climbed one alpine route - he's a great partner as he's so continually enthusiastic as well as being one of the UK's top adventure climbers.

Ian was looking for something with a bit more rock technicalities, but still pretty high and something that might be possible for us alpine style. And he found the East face of Kedar Dome

The crux turned out to be French 6c at over 6000m which Tim led. THe dou carried no bolts, only 6 pitons, which they placed about once each. THey were very lucky to find good tent sites except for one day where they had to bivi on some poor sloping ledges halfway up the final rock headwall. Shivering the night away racked by continuous stonefall. Add to this the first 600m section they climbed in the night which included some terrible rock with no protection and no belay.

There were two expeditions on the great East face - the first were the Hungarians in 1989 who takes the central spur. Than in 1999 Fluder and Polish team climbed a big wall capsule style. Both are very impressive looking routes but end at the top of the rock (600m below the summit) and both used a lot of equipment and fixed ropes.