After Meru: Conrad Anker on Mugs Stump, what's next and why he calls Shark's Fin a second ascent
Nov 22nd 2011
“It was an unspoken thing,” says Conrad Anker, “that I would finish what he started.”
Anker is speaking of his early mentor and housemate Mugs Stump, who died in a crevasse fall on Denali in May 1992, and for whom Anker and Jon Turk climbed The Mugs Stump Memorial Route (V 5.1 0+) on Baffin Island the next month. It was Anker's first, though unfortunately not last, great loss in the mountains.
Stump had aspired to climb the Shark’s Fin of Meru Central, in the Garhwal Himalaya, and over the years Anker tried that 6310-meter peak three different times. The first effort was in 2003 with Bruce Miller and Doug Chabot, and stalled due to unconsolidated snow and insufficient gear. Three years ago a huge snowstorm shut down Anker, Jimmy Chin and Renan Ozturk only 100 meters shy of the top. A video clip of Chin on the wall shows him saying, “I’m not coming back.”