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The Knotty Cat Ears Spire Climbed

By Dougald MacDonald : Micah Dash and Eric DeCaria made the second ascent of Cat’s Ear Spire (17,585 feet) in the Trango area of Pakistan, climbing a 12-pitch variation to the original route on the stunning rock needle. The two Americans climbed the 3,500-foot line, Super Cat (VI 5.11 R A1), in alpine style, enduring three bivouacs with no sleeping bags. They placed no pins or bolts on the route. Cat’s Ear Spire was pioneered in 2000 by Americans Jonny Copp and Mike Pennings. Dash said in an email from Pakistan that the climb was “much more serious and complicated than the Eternal Flame on Nameless Tower,” a route that he and partners speed-climbed to the summit ridge last year. “The route consisted of pitch after pitch of mandatory run-out 5.11 offwidth, squeeze chimney, and face climbing,” Dash said. Both men led and downclimbed the summit block to tag the top.


Altitude / Height

5,361 Meters (17,585 Feet)

Location / Bearings

N 35° 44′ – E 76° 11′

Range / Group

Karakoram / Trango

Region / Glacier

Skardu / Baltoro & Trango

Permit Zone

Regulated Zone

Best Climbing Time

Mid May - Mid Sep

Normal Permit Fee

US$ 1,500

Discounted Fee (click) 100% Free of Cost

Trip Duration / Climb

30 Days /  14-18 Days

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