Jeff Caplan’s Minute of News: Three Utahns brave Mount Jannu
Dec 5, 2023, 6:00 AM
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SALT LAKE CITY —You’ve probably never heard of Mount Jannu. It’s in the Himalayas, and it’s not as tall as Mount Everest, but hardcore mountain climbers know it’s way tougher than Everest because the last stretch up to the summit features a sheer 10,000-foot wall of rock and ice.
Nobody has ever climbed Jannu freestyle and without oxygen … until now. And without much fanfare, three guys from Utah are back home after shocking the world of mountain climbing with this incredible feat that took six days hanging from the side of a sheer wall with minimal gear.
Alan Rousseau, Matt Cornell, and a guy most appropriately named Jackson Marvell, carried an inflatable ledge that allowed them to sit, a sleeping bag for three that provided warmth and 130 yards of rope. Falling ice shards ripped their coats and equipment as they clawed their way up the mountain the same height as Mount Timpanogas … if it was stacked atop another Timpanogas. The trio hammered their way up this unforgiving wall, dangling with nothing but a two-mile drop below.
And with frostbitten fingers, they laugh here in Salt Lake City, telling their story to The New York Times. They don’t seem to have a publicist, they didn’t even put any videos on social media. Because fame wasn’t the point. Conquering the north face of Jannu was the point.
For their efforts, this trio could bring the Piolets d’Or — Climber of the Year award — home to Utah.
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