Talung, 7348m (Nepal)
Having gained confidence from their first ascent of the northwest pillar of Langshisha Ri (6,427 m) during their maiden Himalayan expedition in 2014, Ukrainian alpinists Mikhail Fomin and Nikita Balabanov decided to up the level of commitment a notch. From 18 to 23 October (after five bivouacs), the pair made the first ascent of the coveted north-northwest pillar of Talung. Their ascent was the fifth ascent of the mountain. The first ascent of the adjacent north face was nominated for a Piolet d’Or in 2014, and came after two attempts by Marek Holecek on this same pillar. Fomin and Balabnov’s 1,700 m line, which they called Daddy Magnum Force, is rated ED+. The maximum difficulties are estimated at M6 and A3. The team considers that the route they climbed is close to the maximum of their abilities, and they were glad to be able to take turns each day with the route finding. They descended by the west face, which they’d reconnoitred during the approach, with a bivouac at 6,700 m.