In 2008, Conrad Anker, Jimmy Chin, and Renan Ozturk had to bail from the Shark's Fin, an ice-caked granite prow running up the side of India's Meru Central (20,702 feet), after depleting their food supplies and losing nearly 20 pounds each while waiting out a storm. This fall, the trio returned and knocked off the line, summitting on October 2. It was Anker's third try at the Shark's Fin, which features delicate aid climbing with difficulties of up to A4 and had shut down dozens of previous attempts. It was also Ozturk's first serious ascent since suffering severe head and spinal injuries in a ski accident in March. So what enabled the team to succeed where others had failed? Preparation, and a stretch of clear, calm days. "I can't stress enough the importance that the weather played during our trip," Anker told Alpinist after the climb. "We got incredibly lucky."
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