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Item #: OP1796A-267
TRANGO: THE NAMELESS TOWER 1978 1st UK ed Hardcover DJ Fine SIGNED/INSCRIBED by Jim Curran
By Curran, Jim
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London, 1978, 1st edition. 175 pp, b/w and color photos. Hardcover with dust jacket. Fine. 

SIGNED/INSCRIBED by Jim Curran. 

Jim Curran has been present in and around the epicenter of the British climbing scene (or Sheffield, as it presumes to call itself) from seemingly time immemorial. In fact his deep involvement dates from the early 70s when, as a self-admitted 'moderate climber' and easily distracted lecturer in Art & Design at Bristol Polytechnic, he began making expedition films involving the Great and the Good. He's never really looked back since, completing several award-winning film projects and numerous books.
 
Trango was the first of his books, many of which have taken certain mountains in the Karakorum as their subject. It's an account of the successful expedition to climb one of the most sought-after spires in the Greater Ranges, and stars Mo Anthoine, Martin Boyson, Malcolm Howells, Tony Riley and Joe Brown. All the characteristic hallmarks of Curran's writing are present, the good-natured matey style the self-critical honesty, the banter, and the mischievous jokes (e.g. There's a photo featuring a tumescent Joe Brown bathing and smoking in the nude on p. 63; caption reads 'Joe Brown is the one with the cigar').
 
The result is a straightforward anecdote-driven account of a happy and successful expedition but one which is written at a brisk pace with vivid first-person accounts of the energy-sapping misery of high-altitude climbing. Insights into the character of Curran's fellow expeditioners are largely notable by their absence but the sheer unpretentious honesty of the writing stands out in clear distinction with many other expedition books of the period. A readable and unglamorised account of an important breakthrough in Karakorum climbing. - From ScottishOutdoors.com

From Wikipedia:

  • Trango Towers Their vertical faces are the world's tallestcliffs
  • Elevation 6,286 metres (20,623 ft) 
  • First ascent 1977 by Galen Rowell, John Roskelley, Kim Schmitz and Dennis Hennek 
  • Easiest route Northwest face: snow/ice/rock climb 
The Trango Towers are a group of dramatic granite spires located on the north side of the Baltoro Glacier, in Baltistan, a district of the Northern Areas of Pakistan. They are part of the Baltoro Muztagh, a subrange of the Karakoram range. The Towers offer some of the largest cliffs and most challenging rock climbing in the world. The highest point in the group is the summit of Great Trango Tower, 6,286 m (20,608 ft). (Note: all elevations in this article are subject to significant uncertainty: it is not clear if they have ever been determined precisely, and sources vary.) The east face of the Great Trango Tower features the world's greatest nearly vertical drop.

Structure of the group: All of the Trango Towers lie on a ridge, trending northwest-southeast, between the Trango Glacier on the west and the Dunge Glacier on the east. Great Trango itself is a large massif, with four identifiable summits: Main (6,286 m), South or Southwest (circa 6,250 m), East (6,231 m), and West (6,223 m). It is a complex combination of steep snow/ice gullies, steeper rock faces, and verticalto overhanging headwalls, topped by a snowy ridge system.

Just northwest of Great Trango is the Trango Tower (6,239 m), often called 'Nameless Tower'. This is a very large, pointed, rather symmetrical spire which juts 1000m out of the ridgeline. North of Trango Tower is a smaller rock spire known as 'Trango Monk.' To the north of this feature, the ridge becomes less rocky and loses the large granite walls that distinguish the Trango Towers group and make them so attractive to climbers; however the summits do get higher. These summits are not usually considered part of the Trango Towers group, though they share the Trango name. Trango II (6,327 m) lies northwest of the Monk, and the highest summit on the ridge, Trango Ri (6,363 m), lies northwest of Trango II.

Just southeast of Great Trango (really a part of its southeast ridge) is the Trango Pulpit (6,050m), whose walls present similar climbing challenges to those of Great Trango itself. Further to the south is Trango Castle (5,753 m), the last large peak along the ridge before the Baltoro Glacier.

Climbing History: Overall, the Trango Towers group has seen some of the most difficultand significant climbs ever accomplished, due to the combination ofaltitude, total height of the routes, and the steepness of the rock. All of the routes are highly technical climbs.

Great Trango Tower: Great Trango was first climbed in 1977 by Galen Rowell, John Roskelley, Kim Schmitz, Jim Morrissey and Dennis Hennek by a route which started from the west side (Trango Glacier), and climbed a combination of ice ramps and gullies with rock faces, finishing on the upper South Face. The east face of Great Trango was first climbed (to the East Summit) in 1984 by the Norwegians Hans Christian Doseth and Finn Dhli, who both died on the descent. The first successful climb of and return from the East Summit was in 1992, by Xaver Bongard and John Middendorf,on a route parallel to that of the ill-fated Norwegians. These twoclimbs have been called 'perhaps the hardest big-wall climbs in theworld.'

The easiest route on Great Trango is on the Northwest Face, and was climbed in 1984 by Andy Selters and Scott Woolums. This is nonetheless a very serious, technical climb.

Trango (Nameless) Tower was first climbed in 1976 by the legendary British climber Joe Brown, along with Mo Anthoine, Martin Boysen, and Malcolm Howells. It is now a popular ascent, albeit for the elite of the climbing community: there are at least eight separate routes to the summit.

One notable route is known as Eternal Flame (named after a Bangles album), first climbed on September 20, 1989 by Kurt Albert and Wolfgang Gllich.This route ascends the South-East Face of the Tower, and was climbed almost entirely free (in stages, using fixed ropes to return to a base each night). This helped inaugurate an era of pure rock-climbing techniques and aesthetics on high-altitude peaks.

Other summits: The West summit of Great Trango and the Trango Pulpit were both first climbed in 1999. The West summit was climbed by two separate teams, one American and one Russian, almost simultaneously, by parallel routes. The American team of Alex Lowe, Jared Ogden, and Mark Synnott climbed a long, bold, highly technical line which they called 'Parallel Worlds.' They reported diffculties up to 5.11 and A4. The Russian team of Potan'kin Igor, Alexandr Odintsov, Ivan Samoilenko and Yuri Koshelenko climbed an equally proud route (Eclissi) and encountered similar technical challenges. Both climbs were nominated for the prestigious Piolet d'or award in 1999. The Pulpit was climbed by a Norwegian team (Robert Caspersen, Gunnar Karlsen, Per L. Skjerven and Einar Wold) over a total of 38 days on the wall. The team reported of difficulties up to A4/5.11.

BASE Jump: On August 26, 1992, Australians Nic Feteris and Glenn Singleman climbed Great Trango and then BASE jumped from 5,955 metres (19,537 ft) on the Northwest Face, landing on the northern side of the Dunge Glacier at an altitude of 4,200 metres (13,779 ft). This was the highest starting elevation for a BASE jump on record. The current Guinness World Record for a BASE jump starting elevation is held by Singleman himself and partner Heather Swan for a jump from 6604 meters (21,667ft) from Meru Peak in northern India on 23 May 2006.

Recent ascents: Some of the more recent ascents on Great Trango have focused on the longer routes found on the west and south sides. In particular, in 2004 Josh Wharton and Kelly Cordes completed a new, very long (2,256metre 7,400 ft) route on the Southwest Ridge, or Azeem Ridge,to the Southwest Summit. Though not as extremely technical as the East Face routes, the climb was notable for the extremely lightweight and fast (5 days) style in which it was done.

Over 7 days in August 2005, two Slovak climbers, Gabo Cmarik and Jozef Kopold, climbed a new route, which they termed Assalam Alaikum, to the right of the Wharton/Cordes line on the south face of Great Trango. The climb comprised around 90 pitches, up to 5.11d A2. They used a lightweight style similar to that of Wharton and Cordes.

In the same month, Samuel Johnson, Jonathon Clearwater and Jeremy Frimer made the first ascent of the southwest ridge of Trango II, which they termed Severance Ridge. The route involved 1,600 m of climbing over five days, with rock climbing up to 5.11 A2 and ice and mixed climbing up to AI3 M5.

Also in August 2005, a South African team, composed of Peter Lazarus, Marianne Pretorius, James Pitman and Andreas Kiefer, climbed to the summit via the Slovenian route. Pretorius was the third woman to reach the summit.


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