The Top 10 Climbing Stories of 2011

From drama in the Greater Ranges to cutting-edge bouldering problems, 2011 was a great year for climbing. We pick the top ten ascents of the past 12 months.

Simone Moro and Denis Urubko on Gasherbrum II

Simone Moro and Denis Urubko on Gasherbrum II     Photo: Cory Richards

With so many impressive ascents on rock and high-mountain faces this year, it was tough for us to pick the best story. In compiling the following list, we looked for climbs that weren’t just hard, but busted the curve with their difficulty or boldness. Ascents from any discipline were fair game.  Below, you’ll find everything from a third-grade boulderer who tore up Hueco Tanks to a team of three renowned alpinists who survived winter storms and an avalanche to take one of the last great prizes in Himalayan mountaineering. We couldn't fit all of the worthy stories on the list; Gerlinde Kaltenbrunner, who after a 13-year campaign became the first woman to climb all 14 eight-thousanders without oxygen this August, deserves a special mention. After this year’s hype has died down, these are the climbing stories we’ll still be thinking about in 2012. Click on the links below to read more.

10. A Nine Year Old Takes Down Hueco
9. Ueli Steck Solos Shishapangma
8. Daniel Woods Flashes V14/15
7. First Winter Ascent of Gasherbrum II
6. The Wide Boyz Climb the World's Hardest Offwidth
5. Sharma Sends First Round, First Minute
4. Anker, Chin, and Ozturk Climb Shark's Fin
3. Sasha DiGiulian Repeats Pure Imagination
2. Alex Honnold's Hardest Solos Yet
1. Adam Ondra Climbs V16, Twice

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