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unclimbed peaks in Europe

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unclimbed peaks in Europe

Postby kamil » Fri Oct 30, 2009 10:02 pm

I'm opening this thread inspired by recent similar threads about N.America.
Info about unclimbed peaks in Europe is hard to find, simply because there aren't many of them and if there are any, they must be really at the back of beyond. Otherwise they would be well known and climbed long ago in our totally explored little continent.

Are there any unclimbed 'uns, or first climbed let's say in the last 10 years? I know of a few in Albania, even made one rather certain and one possible FA there. There's one 2000-er in Bosnia & Herzegovina (Prenj mtns) that had its probable FA some time in 2000-03 if I remember correctly. But where else - elsewhere in the Balkans, Caucasus, Scandinavia, Picos de Europa in Spain, something in the more remote corners of the Alps? And are they major peaks (for the standard of their range) or only minor protrusions? We're not counting Greenland of course - it has unclimbed mountains galore but it doesn't geographically belong to Europe :)
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Postby kamil » Fri Oct 30, 2009 10:19 pm

Borut - somewhere in Julian or Kamnik Alps? Still interesting, cos I reckon in our Tatras every single little tower has been climbed.

Yeah, I was right with this peak in Prenj - it was Vjetreno brdo in 2003, here is the trip report in Bosnian and English.
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Re: unclimbed peaks in Europe

Postby visentin » Sat Oct 31, 2009 6:06 am

kamil wrote:I'm opening this thread inspired by recent similar threads about N.America.
Info about unclimbed peaks in Europe is hard to find, simply because there aren't many of them and if there are any, they must be really at the back of beyond.

I'd rather say there "might" be many secondary tops here and there, in the shaddow of some other more important peak, that were totally forgotten. I'm sure it is the case in the Pyrenees but we don't know them for the simple reason they were forgotten :)

kamil wrote:Otherwise they would be well known and climbed long ago in our totally explored little continent.

For sure. Even I'd say the hardest, the soonest. So is the fate of too famous peaks. The terrible Mont Aiguille was climbed several centuries ago, as for peaks like the Ossau in Pyrenees, in the early 1800's.

kamil wrote:Are there any unclimbed 'uns, or first climbed let's say in the last 10 years? I know of a few in Albania, even made one rather certain and one possible FA there. There's one 2000-er in Bosnia & Herzegovina (Prenj mtns) that had its probable FA some time in 2000-03 if I remember correctly

Possible, cetainly partly because they are located in remote countries that remaided apart of mass tourism for decades. But were they technically difficult ?

kamil wrote:Caucasus

That's something different, though in Europe. Here certainly there are major forgotten peaks.

kamil wrote:Scandinavia

Here also it would be interesting to ask locals. There is one guy whose name is Arnt Flatmo, who climbs every single bump in Norway. It would be interesting to ask him:
http://www.westcoastpeaks.com/

kamil wrote:Picos de Europa in Spain

You may find some steep towers here and there, but again, not major ones. Let's ask in the Spanish team ;)
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Re: unclimbed peaks in Europe

Postby kamil » Sat Oct 31, 2009 11:56 am

kamil wrote:I know of a few in Albania, even made one rather certain and one possible FA there. There's one 2000-er in Bosnia & Herzegovina (Prenj mtns) that had its probable FA some time in 2000-03 if I remember correctly

visentin wrote:Possible, cetainly partly because they are located in remote countries that remaided apart of mass tourism for decades. But were they technically difficult ?

The one in BiH was up to II UIAA as they wrote in the report I mentioned.
My 'possible FA' was max II+ so it was only semi-technical although very chossy (this one), the locals might have climbed it before although there was no cairn or anything on the summit.
I noticed the locals from Bjeshket e Nemuna sometimes express a different concept of 'being on a mountain' - if they say 'I have been there' it can mean also near the peak, somewhere around, on a col below the peak etc, not necessarily at the summit. Conversation using single words in Serbian, English and Albanian doesn't make the mutual understanding easier either :D
My 'rather certain FA' (this one) went at VII- A0/AF, didn't expect it to be that hard, we were trying to find the easiest and/or safest route but it turned out to be neither easy nor safe :lol: Anyway even if someone finds an easier route to the summit I guess it won't be easier than V and most probably won't be safe either due to rotten rock.
Two other peaks in the neighbourhood went at IV- and VI respectively (by Slovenians and Serbians in 2006 and 2009), there may be potential easier routes on them but also technical or extremely chossy.

kamil wrote:Picos de Europa in Spain

visentin wrote:You may find some steep towers here and there, but again, not major ones. Let's ask in the Spanish team ;)

This one is in the European board so they come here too, although I can drop a question in their thread :D

Thanks for your comments!
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Postby visentin » Sat Oct 31, 2009 1:43 pm

I think also that European mountains are not totally comparable with for example the American continent, speaking about this topic.
Most of the mountains of Europe have a very long tradition of pastoralism, then most of them until grade II or II+ were certainly climbed at any time.
Then comes the differenciation of "first ascent" and "first known ascent". Most of the pioneers of 18th and 19th considered themselves as the first as soon as there was no any obvious written proof of earlier presence. But it doesn't always mean it wasn't climbed before.
One good example is the Punta Suelza whose page I made recently, and whose story with Russell I found by reading books during the time writting it.
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Postby visentin » Sun Nov 01, 2009 6:38 pm

Borut Kantušer wrote:I think these two minor protrusions in the Julian Alps are :lol::lol: unclaimed.

I guess not for long ! I see peak Borut on the top and Vrh Kantušer down :)
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Postby kamil » Sun Nov 01, 2009 9:06 pm

Took this right out of my mouth, Eric!
Last edited by kamil on Wed Feb 03, 2010 12:40 am, edited 1 time in total.
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?

Postby visentin » Sun Nov 01, 2009 9:16 pm

kamil wrote:Took this right out of my mouth, Eric!


:D
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Postby kamil » Sun Nov 01, 2009 10:17 pm

visentin wrote:Most of the mountains of Europe have a very long tradition of pastoralism, then most of them until grade II or II+ were certainly climbed at any time.
Then comes the differenciation of "first ascent" and "first known ascent". Most of the pioneers of 18th and 19th considered themselves as the first as soon as there was no any obvious written proof of earlier presence. But it doesn't always mean it wasn't climbed before.
One good example is the Punta Suelza whose page I made recently, and whose story with Russell I found by reading books during the time writting it.

That's a very good page of yours BTW :)
Hard to determine in many cases. There's one peak in Albania which a party that climbed it in 2005 claims as their 'first ascent' or 'first known ascent'. The latter more like - it's accessible with no climbing at all, even hardly any scrambling. The one I climbed in 2006 however takes some effort to climb via the only relatively easier route and there was neither a cairn nor any other human trace at the summit. And unlike that first one it's quite an obscure peak, well visible only from a few places. You never know :)
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Postby visentin » Mon Nov 02, 2009 12:17 pm

kamil wrote:That's a very good page of yours BTW :)
Hard to determine in many cases. There's one peak in Albania which a party that climbed it in 2005 claims as their 'first ascent' or 'first known ascent'. The latter more like - it's accessible with no climbing at all, even hardly any scrambling. The one I climbed in 2006 however takes some effort to climb via the only relatively easier route and there was neither a cairn nor any other human trace at the summit. And unlike that first one it's quite an obscure peak, well visible only from a few places. You never know :)

Thanks :)
I think that apart from the Scandinavians Alps (the only ones perhaps comparable to the wildernesses in US), in every mountainous area in Europe where you can see grazing meadows, you are never 100% sure that all "scrambleable" peaklets all around are totally virgin. Sherperds always used to climb prominences to find where the herds went, or sometimes just by curiosity (spending days alone in the same place, soon or late you feel like watching what's beyond...). Albanian Alps, despite quite dry and rocky, have, from what I've seen from SP pics, quite a lot of such green places and sherperd activity.. so you may be the "first known ascender" in those cases, but you will never know for sure.
But don't worry, in many "premières" of the 19th century, many claimed to have done the "first ascent", assuming they were the "first personality" to make it, they were the only one to be entitled no matter if sherperds went before ! :)
To transpose my yesterday's theory "most famous = earliest", to the area "near" where we both live, such "monsters" like Krivan (with meadows and activity below) where visited several centuries ago, while other sharp peaklets in the high Tatras, much lower, were not until contemporary Tatrism history.
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Postby kamil » Mon Nov 02, 2009 12:52 pm

If the first shepherd at the summit had built a cairn we'd know, otherwise we never know, but maybe that's more interesting...
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Postby kamil » Mon Nov 02, 2009 1:57 pm

.. like keepin' on climbing the unclimbed peaks for instance :lol:

Back to the topic - I asked our Spanish SP-ers to write some more here.
Last edited by kamil on Tue Feb 02, 2010 10:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby kamil » Mon Nov 02, 2009 3:27 pm

Anyone tried to climb it yet?
The face of Votli vrh with your route on it hadn't been climbed until recently either.
BTW, don't remember if I mentioned that I met Marko Prezelj's father in Prokletije in September.
Which brings us to the point that perhaps last unclimbed major peaks in Europe are only in Albania :) I mean major in the local scale, not compared e.g. with the Alps.
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Postby visentin » Mon Nov 02, 2009 4:32 pm

Sorry Borut ! There was no offense with my joke, I just played by declinating the peak name in every possible language. You're allowed to tell bad things about my name in all slovenian dialects as a counterpart ;)
(I really hope I didnt offend you, I really appreciate you Borut as one of by best SP friends !)
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Postby visentin » Thu Nov 05, 2009 7:49 am

RicardoEchanove1 (Google translated) wrote:I saw a post that talked about if we in Europe are unclimbed mountains,
Do you think that there will be minimal needle or without top coat in Spain, or at least a wall or canal without being made whole?
Javier Urrutia, Mendikat, wrote in http://www.mendiak.net/modules.php?name ... c&start=15

"We have also some monoliths in the area Covaruña a cavity very famous in the area, surrounded by legends and such. One has a strong edge without going to III is most spectacular and most excellent rock. Other monoliths like the Polvedar Bolo or the "Small Naranjo de Bulnes" de la Pena Zapatero are unscalable. "
greetings


Diego Sahagún wrote:I'm sure there are still many unclimbed routes, even in Spain, but do not think that because you climb a rare side of a mountain that it is a virgin, because sometimes you get surprises ...
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