From 11th to 13th of May, 2023, the Frenchman Mathieu Maynadier, the Tyrolean Simon Gietl and the Swiss Roger Schaeli opened the Goldfish route (800 m, M6+, A1) in alpine style, on the East-South-East slope of the southern summit of Meru (6570 m*, Garhwal, India). Famous for the difficulty of their ascents, the Meru summits have fascinated the best climbers for four decades: Goldfish is only the eighth route to be opened on the wide eastern slope of the range since the Slovenian firsts on the north summit in 1988. A major achievement with, nevertheless, questions that still remain.
It was in 2011, with the ascent of Shark’s Fin by the Americans Jimmy Chin, Renan Ozturk and Conrad Anker, that the broad eastern slope of the Meru peaks in India became famous to a wide audience. Summits of the sacred dimension of the Gangotri massif, the source of the Ganges, the South, Central and North Meru peaks reach 6.570, 6.430 and 6.380 metres respectively (*). Their Eastern slope, with its rare aesthetics and extreme difficulties concentrated in the upper half, has been attracting the world’s best climbers for four decades: the American Mugs Stump, as early as the 1980s, was one of the first to be fascinated by the Shark’s Fin line on the central summit, before a Slovenian team led by Franc Knez opened the first two lines on the northern summit, but without going out to the summit, in August and September 1988.