Home NEWS Piolet d’Or Winner Tim Miller On a True Climbing Adventure

Piolet d’Or Winner Tim Miller On a True Climbing Adventure

by thesummiters.com
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Tim Miller, the younger half of an adventurous UK climbing duo alongside the seasoned Paul Ramsden, is making waves in the climbing world. The dynamic pair recently accomplished a groundbreaking feat by opening a new route on the 6,605m Surma Sarovar in western Nepal, earning them the prestigious Piolet d’Or. This accolade adds to their recognition for an impressive climb on Jugal Spire in 2022, showcasing their prowess in the world of climbing.

In an exclusive conversation with ExplorersWeb, Miller shed light on the incredible journey before boarding a plane to France for the Piolet d’Or awards ceremony.

Left to right, Hamish Frost, Matt Glenn, Paul Ramsden, and Tim Miller. Photo: Hamish Frost
Left to right, Hamish Frost, Matt Glenn, Paul Ramsden, and Tim Miller. Photo: Hamish Frost

Venturing into the Unknown

The Surma Sarovar adventure began with Ramsden’s extensive research, focusing on locations with minimal information—an integral aspect of their daring expeditions. The chosen destination, the Salimor Khola Valley, had seen only a handful of expeditions, most over two decades ago, rendering virtually everything in the valley unclimbed.

The team, comprising Ramsden, Miller, Matthew Glenn, and Hamish Frost, faced an arduous journey involving flights, a bumpy drive, and six days of trekking to establish base camp at the valley’s foot. Navigating a deep gorge and fording a frigid river added to the challenges of the unexplored terrain.

The Climb: A Test of Endurance

The climb itself unfolded over eight days, presenting a massive 2,100m face with technical sections, including ice/mixed climbing and a challenging rock band—a significant crux in their ascent. The explorers dealt with unpredictable weather conditions and treacherous descents, navigating through fresh snow and avalanche-prone slopes.

Despite facing some frostbite, both Miller and Ramsden emerged victorious, highlighting their commitment to exploration, teamwork, and alpine style. The climb from base camp to the summit and back encompassed eight challenging days, with six spent on the mountain itself.

Both climbers, battered but not beaten by frostbite, are now on their way to the French Alps for the Piolet d’Or ceremony. Miller expressed his elation at the award and the prospect of a well-deserved holiday, while Ramsden, a seasoned climber with five Piolet d’Or awards under his belt, remains unfazed by the accolade.

Piolet d’Or Winner Tim Miller On a True Climbing Adventure
Piolet d’Or Winner Tim Miller On a True Climbing Adventure

Beyond the Peaks: Exploring Uncharted Terrain

Interestingly, despite glimpsing other intriguing peaks, Miller currently lacks a keen interest in an immediate return to the Salimor Khola, emphasizing the unparalleled rewards of exploring unfamiliar territory. He hopes others will venture into these uncharted peaks, preserving the true spirit of exploration.

Dynamic Duo: Tim Miller and Ramsden

Miller attributes their success to the effective partnership between him and Ramsden. With differing strengths and weaknesses, the duo complement each other well. Ramsden’s wealth of experience and meticulous research skills are coupled with Miller’s role in leading the most challenging pitches.

Both climbers share similar values, including a preference for alpine style and a disdain for helicopters. Their camaraderie, essential for a six-week outdoor expedition, is founded on mutual respect and shared values.

Tim Miller and Ramsden
Tim Miller and Ramsden

Miller also commended the efforts of Hamish Frost and Matt Glenn, who, despite challenging conditions, attempted noteworthy ascents on other peaks in the region. Their contributions added to the spirit of exploration and camaraderie within the team.

As they savor the success of their Himalayan odyssey, Miller and Ramsden stand as a testament to the spirit of adventure, exploration, and enduring partnerships in the world of climbing.

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