A Bold New Ascent: Setting Out for Garhwal

Above: Ali on the first all-female ascent of Pinnacle Peak in the Himalaya.
đź“·: Rebecca Haspel
Words by: Alison Criscitiello

Anna and I are both keen explorers and adventurers, with a focus on bold and new ascents and traverses. This peak and route are appealing both for being as of yet unclimbed and for the aesthetics of the route. It is the relative unknown of this expedition and objective that remain the driving force. Lured by grainy photos and Russian maps, our small-but-mighty team of two are setting out to mount an expedition in the simplest manner possible. Women push boundaries and set new standards in climbing and alpinism every day, and it is our hope that we – and this objective – have a part to play in this revolution.

Some notable sufferfests by the team:

Alison Criscitiello

Ali Criscitiello bio pic

1.  Leader of the first all-female ascent of Pinnacle Peak/Lingsarmo, Nun Kun Massif, Indian Himalaya (6955 m), July/August 2010.

2. First (and all-female) winter ski traverse of the Tajikistan border with Afghanistan, China, and Kyrgyzstan (www.borderski.com), Feb/March 2015.

3. Denali, Mt. Logan, Cotopaxi, and Aconcagua remain some of her favorite summits.

Anna Smith


1. First ascent of The Proposal (M8) on Mount Cirrus in the Canadian Rockies with Jim Elzinga.

2.  All Along the Watchtower (5.12, 22p), North Howser, Bugaboo Provincial Park, Canada

3.  Likely first female ascents of Mounts Asgard and Loki, Auyuittuq National Park, Baffin Island.

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