Between 20 July and 9 September 2015 the Slovenian alpinists Anastasija Davidova and Matija Jošt – Matic made what are believed to be the first ascents of three previously unclimbed peaks in the India’s Raru valley: Khumchu Ri 6064m, Kun Long Ri 6058m and Ri Pok Te 6210m.
Last summer the Slovenes Anastasija Davidova and Matija Jošt – Matic travelled to the rarely visited Zanskar region of India’s Himalaya where they spent 35 days exploring the westernmost valley of Tetleh Nala, an area that had only been visited once previously by western teams, namely the 2011 British Imperial College expedition.
Together with Chetan Pandey (liaison officer) and Heera Singh (cook), Davidova and Jost – Matic established BC at 4623m on 29 July after trekking for two days from Raru, and then acclimatised by trekking further up the valley during the following days. On 5 August they climbed Khumchu Ri via its SE Ridge in 13 hours from their bivy at 5549m. Although this mountain served as an acclimatisation climb, the Slovene’s believe theirs might well be the first ascent of this 6064m peak.
Bad weather set in but on 13 August the duo trekked back up Tetleh Nala towards an unclimbed mountain on the west side of the valley to bivy at 5533m. The next two days were spent climbing the mountain’s West Face, and on 16 August they successfully reached the 6058m summit of Kun Long Ri via their route Happy Journey (TD+, 1500m), before descending to Base Camp on the 17th.
Davidova experienced toothache and had to travel to Padum to see a dentist, but on her return there was still enough time to attempt one final objective: the East Face of Ri Pok Te. After a false start on 24 August due to poor weather, on 25 August Davidova and Jošt set off once again towards the mountain’s eastern slopes, following the line initially chosen by the British mountaineers Prinold and Scott. After a bivouac at 5920m they continued easily to reach the 6210m summit in fine weather at 15:30 on the 26th, before descending down the line of ascent to reach base camp on the 27th of August. They named their route From East to West, have graded it TD+/ED-, VI-, 1200m and believe “the beauty of its climbing is five stars”. This marked the end of their alpine exploration and at the start of September they began their return to civilisation.
Writing after their expedition, Davidova and Jošt – Matic concluded: “The mountains above Tetleh Nala and valley itself are great. The upper part of the valley is very rarely visited even by locals and therefore nature is pretty much unspoiled and fragile. For our climbing pleasures we had chosen such objectives that fit our skills and other circumstances. It means that we managed to climb in simple (alpine) style. Mostly we used nuts and friends for protection, we hammered in few pitons, and only one of them pollutes face of Ri Pok Te, we use it for abseil. We also left some 25 rappell slings, some of them with carabineers that now “decorate” slopes of Kun Long Ri and Ri Pok Te. When we left the valley we did our best to clean the base camp.”
MATIJA JOST – MATIC
Matija Jošt – Matic (44), alpinist with a vast experence in the Himalaya
1995 – Gasherbrum 1 (8068m), Pakistan, attempt to 7200 with Simon Copi.
1996 – Nampa (6755m), South Face (TD, 2000m), Nepal, new route in alpine style with Peter Meznar.
1997 – Jannu East (7568m), Nepal, attempt.
1999 – Tibet, Gyachung Kang (7952m), North Face, The Slovene Route (VI/4, 2000m), new route in alpine style with Andrej Stremfelj, Marko Prezelj, Marko Car, Peter Meznar, Tomaz Jakofcic and new routes on Siguang Ri (7309m), North Face/East Ridge, Siguang Ri Shar (6998m), south face and Peak 6700m (Zero Peak), east face/southeast ridge, first ascent.
2001 – Cordillera Blanca and Cordillera Huayuash, Peru: Tocllaraju (6032m), West Face, Normal Route, Siula Grande (6325m), Noches de “juerga” (ED, VI, 1000m, 65°-90°) and Caraz 2 (6020m), South Face (TD+, 700m, 90°), first traverse.
2001 – Nilkanth (6569m), West Ridge (TD, 1500m), Garhwal Himalaya, India, second ascent and first in alpine style with Marko Prezelj.
2002 – Nepal, Peak 41 (6654m), West Face, The Slovene Route (TD, 100m), first ascent, alpine style with Urban Golob and Uroš Samec.
2003 – Masherbrum (7821m), Japanese Route, Karakoram, Pakistan, attempt and Biarchedi Peak (6781m), new route, second ascent with Marko Prezelj and Steve House.
2004 – Nagma, Pakistan, Korada Peak (5944m), Southeast Face (TD, 750m), first ascent in alpine style and Drifika (6455m), Southwest Face (D+, 1200m), new route in alpine style with Vladimir Marakovic and Gregor Blazic.
– Peak Tb.GU (6142m), Northwest Face/North Ridge, Tadjikistan, ascent and Engels Peak (6510m), North Ridge, attempt with Peter Poljanec.
2010 – Nital Thaur (6236m), Southwest/West Ridge (D, 1500m), India, first ascent in alpine style and Ikualari (6060m) with Boris Lorencic and Karel Zavrsnik.
Nastja Davidova (36), alpinist, physiotherapist from Ljubljana, climbing instructor and employed by the Slovenian army as a top athlete. For her climbs in 2011, 2013 and 2014 she was declared best Slovenian female alpinist. For the last six years she was also received the award for the best woman alpinist of Ljubljana, her home town. Davidova has taken part in nine expeditions and climbing trips to Patagonia, USA, Kyrgyzstan, Nepal, Alaska, India Himalaya, three of them in all female team, always climbing, exploring and repeating difficult climbs.
2004 – Patagonia, Aguja Guillaumet, Amy couloir (5, 60˚, 450m), female ascent, Aguja de la S, Josh Alke (6+/4-5, 450m).
2005 – USA, Yosemite, El Capitan, Salathe wall (VI, 5.9, C2+, 1200m).
2006 – Lobuje East (6119m), Nepal, Khumbu, UIAA International Climbing Camp for young alpinists. First experience in high altitude climbing.
2007 – Kyrgyzstan, Ak Su, Slesova (4240m), Perestroika Crack (5.10, A0, 900m), Central piramid (4380m), NW pillar (5.10c, 900m), Piramid du Pamir (3605m), Lost Mountain (5.10c, 600m), Nad bazo (5.10b, 400m, first ascent).
2009 – Alaska, Ruth Gorge, The Stump (2200m), Goldfinger (IV/5.11a, 600m), Eye Tooth (2960m), Dream in the spirit of Mugs (V/5.10c, 1000m), female ascents with Monika Kambič and Maja Apat.
2011 – USA, Yosemite Valley, eight days on El Capitan (belayed Lukas Krajnc on Golden Gate 5.13b (8a), 41 pitches, 1200m.
2013 – Patagonia, Aguja Mermoz, Argentina (5+, 600m), Fitz Roy, Afanassieff (30°, 6a+, A0, 1550m) fourth all-female team ascent and second female ascent of the route with Tina di Batista.
2015 – Patagonia, Aguja Saint Exupery, Italiana (7a, 60°, 700m) with Maija Jošt and Chiaro di luna (6b+, 750m) with Caroline North, both on-sight.
2015 – Raru Mountains, Zanskar, India’s Himalaya, first ascents of three previously unclimbed peaks Khumchu Ri (6064m), Kun Long Ri (6058m) and Ri Pok Te (6210m) with Matic Jošt.
Other notable ascents:
Numerous free ascents of aid routes in the Slovenian mountains, exploring and repeating difficult climbs in Dolomites and Alps.
Obraz Sfinge “The Sphinx Face”, Triglav, Slovenia (IX/IX+/VII, 160m), free ascent.
Beyond Good and Evil – Aiguile de Pelerin, Chamonix, France (V/VI, M6+, 600m), female free winter ascent with Tina di Batista and Caroline George.
Bonington, Mont Blanc, Freney face, Chamonix, France (7a+, 500m+200m), female ascent and a first Slovenian on-sight of this route with Caroline North.
Cassin/Ratti – Torre Trieste, Dolomiti, Italy (VII, VIII-, 600m), free winter ascent with Matic Jošt in 2015.
Sport climbing up to 7b+ on sight, 7c redpoint.
Short mixed climbs up to M9 on sight and icefalls up to WI5+