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The Kondus Big Wall Expedition

Forbidden Towers: Go here to see the expedition's feeds to the internet on

LANDER, WY - June 9, 2000 -- 

Kondus Big Wall
On June 10 a group of talented and determined climbers will head to Pakistan to explore the Kondus Valley, a region some fifty miles southeast of K2 in the Himalayan Karakoram. This valley has been restricted to Westerners since 1982. Recently the Pakistani government opened this area, allowing the Kondus Big Wall Expedition to gain access to this pristine environment. The climbers include Jimmy Chin, Dave Anderson, Steph Davis, and Brady Robinson. Their goal is to establish new routes on the massive granite walls that bracket this valley and to travel and climb in a manner that minimizes their impact. In this way, they measure their sense of accomplishment in terms of aesthetics as well as difficulty. Perhaps most important, though, is the group's commitment to develop their friendships and return safely.

The expedition is made possible by grants from Polartec and AAC Lyman Spitzer, as well as corporate sponsorship.

Chin, Anderson, and Robinson are instructors at the National Outdoor Leadership School while Davis is a climber sponsored by Patagonia. Their partnership teams together years of experience, tenacity, and hard work. Each has unique talents and personality traits that strengthen the expedition.

Brady Robinson
Brady Robinson has climbed at various outposts of the globe. He alternates between working for NOLS and travelling to such locales as Nepal, Pakistan, and Chile. Brady's dedication to climbing is legendary. He has been known to hang hoses from trees in the wintertime in order to create miniature ice climbs. There's always a way to train in Brady's book. His efforts have paid off and he was recently able to complete two separate ascents of Fitzroy in Patagonia. One of these ascents was via a challenging new route on the North Pillar. Brady and Jimmy Chin have joined forces before on the 1999 Charakusa Climbing Expedition. The two managed two different big wall first ascents using only alpine techniques.

Jimmy Chin
Jimmy Chin combines alpine big wall climbing with backcountry skiing and photography. Jimmy was instrumental in launching the 1999 Charakusa Climbing Expedition and was awarded the prestigious AAC Mountaineering Fellowship Grant as a result. Always understated, Jimmy claims to have spent most of his time in basecamp eating canned fruit during this expedition. A warm sense of humor belies his commitment to being a top-notch climber and mountaineer. Jimmy plans to guide for Geographic Expeditions and work for NOLS after the expedition.

David Anderson
David Anderson brings a wealth of experience to the expedition. He has been teaching climbing and guiding for fourteen years and has worked for NOLS for six. He is best known around NOLS as a gifted climber with a kind disposition. Befitting someone with such character, Dave described teaching and sharing the mountains with young people as the greatest benefit of being a climber. Dave's priorities are admirable. It would have been just as easy for him to give us an extensive tic list of difficult climbs he has done. Dave's leadership and maturity are great assets to the expedition.

Steph Davis
Steph Davis is a world-renowned climber who is just as comfortable in the deserts of Utah as she is on alpine winter ascents. She was awarded the Shipton/Tilman Award for a previous trip to Pakistan where she was able to complete a new route on the Shipton Spire. This climb marked only the third time that Shipton Spire had been climbed. Davis is also known as the author of several alpine big wall routes in areas ranging from Patagonia to Kyrgystan. Steph brings an indomitable spirit to go with her considerable will. Whether it be run out 30 pitches up or hanging out on a slack line in basecamp, Steph's drive and talent as a climber are obvious.

This expedition is particularly noteworthy for NOLS and Patagonia, one of the sponsors. It symbolizes the very reasons why we have teamed up on the corporate level. These four climbers are exercising precisely the same kind of goals and values that we try to emulate. Exploration of new possibilities, working together towards a shared goal, and finding limits while working in harmony with the environment are exciting things for us. We will be wishing them luck as we follow them on the web. will be handling the expedition's feeds to the internet and the climbers' progress can be tracked on their internet site,

Read more about the "Forbidden Towers Expedition" and their first ascent of Tahir Tower in the Kondus.

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