Over the course of the past several years, Scotsman Bruce Normand and Brazilian Marcos Costa have had one of the most prolific and impressive runs of first ascents of virgin peaks in modern mountaineering history. Blazing a path through southwestern China, the unlikely pair has taken fast-and-light alpinism to new heights and shone a light on some of the most spectacular and least well-known mountain ranges in the world.
在最近几年里，苏格兰人布鲁斯·诺曼德（Bruce Normand）和巴西人马科斯·科斯塔（Marcos Costa）创造了现代登山史上最多产同时也是最令人难忘的处女峰首攀。这对原本不太可能搭档的伙伴，在中国西南地区开辟的道路，将轻装快速的登山技术推向了新高度，并将某些最壮丽同时也是世界上最鲜为人知的山脉展示在世人面前。
文/迈克尔·利维（Michael Levy） 图/盖瑞峰（Garrett Bradley）译/艾鲁
2015年2月，Bruce Normand在从云南卡瓦格博山脉下撤途中横切一段刀脊。2015年2月，Bruce Normand在从云南卡瓦格博山脉下撤途中横切一段刀脊。
Bruce Normand was dangling in space, the rope taut above him. Fifty meters above him and over 6,000 meters up the face of Cogar Lapka, an unclimbed peak in an unexplored mountain range in China, Marcos Costa was on the other end of the rope. He had Bruce on belay, but his only anchor was his body in the snow. Costa was sinking further into an ever more precarious and crumbling snow seat, and could do nothing but hold on and yard on the rope, hoping that Normand would suddenly make progress.
Normand couldn't surmount the bulge which Costa had climbed to get to that point. It was a gradual overhang that extended upwards for a couple of feet. Just over the lip was powdery, sugary snow; Normand's attempts to get good sticks with his ice tools were like pulling a rake through the sand in a Zen Garden. He tried to kick his front points into the concave wall sloping away from. He thought about trying to prussik up, but after considering the effort required, the frozen rope and his cold fingers, he decided to simply keep swinging for the lip.
As the seconds turned into minutes, thoughts of mountain disasters from the past— that of Joe Simpson and Simon Yates, most notably—crept into Normand’s mind. In the 2016 American Alpine Journal, Normand wrote, it was the kind of situation that causes one “to contemplate the value of the belay knife.” Were Costa to cut the rope, Normand would not plunge hundreds of meters down the mountain, but would tumble tens of meters into the crevasse below the bergschrund—hardly a more promising scenario.
当时间一秒秒地累积成几分钟时，以往那些登山灾难的故事悄悄潜入诺曼德的脑海，最著名的当属乔·辛普森（Joe Simpson）和西蒙·耶茨（Simon Yates）的故事了。2016年，诺曼德在《美国阿尔卑斯山期刊》（American Alpine Journal，简称AJJ）的一篇文章中写到，那是一种让人“思考绳索刀的价值”的情境。如果科斯塔割断绳索，诺曼德自然不会跌落到数百米之下的山脚，可滚落到深达数十米的冰裂缝里，当然也不会有什么好结果。
Unable to hear each other, unable to see each other, the climbers yelled futilely in the howling wind, their cries dissipating into the white expanse all around them. Normand's glacier glasses began to fog up from his sudden outpouring of activity. His glasses reflected the dark sky, thick with clouds and portending inclement weather to come.
The only clue for each partner to the other’s continuing presence was the still taut rope, binding them together.
Kyle Dempster, one of the brightest young alpinists of his generation until his untimely death last summer, wrote of Bruce Normand, “Bruce has been the best alpine mentor that I’ve had the pleasure to learn from.” Pat Goodman, another young and impressive American alpinist, wrote of Marcos Costa, “Marcos is undoubtedly the driving force in the current explosion of new route development” in China. Aside from the particularly discerning armchair mountaineer, or a perennial peruser of the annual American Alpine Journal, most climbers are probably unfamiliar with their names. Yet over the past several years, Marcos Costa and Bruce Normand have had one of the most productive and prolific partnerships in recent mountaineering history.
凯尔·邓普斯特（Kyle Dempster）直到去年令人扼腕地离世之前，一直是他那代人中最聪慧的年轻阿尔卑斯登山家，他在谈到布鲁斯·诺曼德时曾写道：“布鲁斯一直都是最棒的阿尔卑斯登山导师，跟他学习真是乐在其中。”另一位令人印象深刻的美国年轻阿尔卑斯登山家帕特·古德曼（Pat Goodman）在谈及马科斯·科斯塔时写道：“毫无疑问，马科斯是目前中国新线路爆发式增加的一股推动力量。”除了那些眼光敏锐、坐而论道的登山家，以及《美国阿尔卑斯山期刊》的多年拥趸以外，大部分登山者可能都不熟悉这两个人的名字。然而，在最近几年里，马科斯·科斯塔和布鲁斯·诺曼德已成了登山界近期最具成效而且最多产的合作伙伴之一。
First individually, and then more notably as a pair, Costa and Normand have claimed first ascent after first ascent of some of China’s most spectacular virgin peaks. The pair has adopted a light and fast strategy—both in the mountains and in their travel to these remote regions—andthe hallmarks of their success lie in the uniquely complementary skill sets they each bring to the table.
The factors that brought them together and launched this perhaps unlikely partnership are fairly mundane. But what they have accomplished—well that is far from the everyday.
Marcos Costa, 36, has a soft spot for fast cars, motorcycles and skateboarding. In his past life he certainly wasn’t the uber-disciplined athlete that he has since become. In his early 20s he made a living working as a fashion model in Asia. A young, good-looking foreigner, he partied up a storm in places like Tokyo, Hong Kong, and Seoul, attending brand launch parties, after parties of fashion shows, and all other sorts of functions where the liquor flows freely. “It was a very wild part of my life,” Costa says.
But before the wildness of the Asian fashion scene, Costa was just a kid from Rio De Janeiro, Brazil, where he got his start climbing in the mountains above the city. Hard single-pitch climbing was never something that motivated him; it was the adventure aspect of getting to the top of the granite-domed mountains.
It was only as a teenager, after moving with his family to California, that Costa discovered the other, arguably sexier, side of climbing. He began working in a climbing gym, in Los Angeles, pulling on plastic of all shapes and colors.
But in college, he stopped climbing, focusing instead on studying and working other odd jobs. “I could have made time, I guess, but somehow I just didn’t. I stopped climbing for about five years,” he says.
After graduating, Costa bounced around a lot, and started modeling in Asia. “I went to Japan, Korea, Hong Kong — all over Asia,” he says. Like the average 20-something, he felt adrift and aimless: “My life was kind of all over the place. I was trying to find a career, but nothing was really working.”
He found himself back home, amongst the granite domes of Brazil, and had an epiphany of sorts. “I realized I really, really missed climbing,” he says, “so I went back to it as something that gave meaning to my life.”
After a year at home, Costa hit the road again, but this time with a new fire in his eyes. “I had this hunger for development,” he says, but found that most of the lowest-hanging fruit around Rio, and even many of the more serious endeavors, had already long ago been plucked, bolted or developed. So, partially to follow a girlfriend, and partially to see what he could do out there, he moved to China. “And it was in China where things really took off,” he says.
Bruce Normand选择走西南路线上冰川进入贡嘎山脉，行进的第二天，他背着重重的补给。Bruce Normand选择走西南路线上冰川进入贡嘎山脉，行进的第二天，他背着重重的补给。
Bruce Normand, 50, is a somewhat gangly, bespectacled Scotsman with a dry sense of humor. He speaks in a fairly business-like manner, his voice only occasionally wavering from monotone, his Scottish lilt imparting a rhythmic musicality to his descriptions and anecdotes.
Normand makes his living as a professor of physics. His specialty is condensed matter physics. He has taught at universities all over the world, and his list of published articles have dizzying, undecipherable names to the layman, such as “Fermionic Spinon and Holon Statistics in the Pyrochlore Quantum Spin Liquid,” and “Heisenberg Antiferromagnet on the Husimi Lattice.”
诺曼德是位物理学教授。他的专业是凝聚态物理学。他曾在全世界各地的大学执教，他的论文目录让门外汉眼花缭乱、不明所以，比如《烧绿石量子自旋液体的费米自旋子和空穴子统计》（Fermionic Spinon and Holon Statistics in the Pyrochlore Quantum Spin Liquid）以及《Husimi晶格中的海森堡反铁磁体》（Heisenberg Antiferromagnet on the Husimi Lattice）等。
But when he’s not teaching, he’s likely off in some scantily populated, little visited corner of the world scaling mountains. An Indiana Jones-type—physicist by day, adventurer by summer vacation—Normand has found his two dueling passions to complement each other nicely. “In research you take one thing you know, another thing you know, and you add them together to get something you don’t know,” he explains. “And I actually like doing the same thing with climbing."
Normand grew up in Scotland, and developed a love for the mountains as a boy, hiking in his native hills. Always dreaming of higher realms, it wasn’t until he moved to Boston to study at MIT that he started to learn the trade of alpinism. “I was a member of the MIT outing club,” Normand says. “They do something called Winter School every year where they teach you to survive winter.”
Normand took the skills he learned in New Hampshire’s White Mountains much further afield than the average Winter School participant. In the early 1990s he made ascents of Rainier and Denali in the U.S., and climbed several peaks on expeditions in Mexico and Peru.
As he amassed more and more ascents throughout the 90s, he found himself with a similar hunger to Costa: the desire to explore uncharted territory. “It’s much more interesting,” Normand says. “If I’m going to spend all that time and money getting out there, I want to climb something nobody’s climbed before. Whether it’s a new mountain or a new route.” Around 1999, this became the guiding ethos for his mountain exploits.
In the 2000s, Normand began racking up an impressive list of first ascents, often of peaks with names just as tongue-twisting as his scholarly articles. In 2003, he made the first ascent of the West Ridge of Peak 6162 in the Khumbu Himal, Nepal; in 2005, he climbed the South Ridge of Tsetse in the Karakoram, Pakistan; in 2006, he established a line on the Southeast Face of Phola Kyung in Loinbo Kangri, Tibet; and this is just a smattering of the many other routes he pioneered throughout the decade.
21世纪伊始，诺曼德开始不断扩充他令人印象深刻的首攀名单，山峰的名字常常像他的学术论文一样佶屈聱牙。2003年，他在尼泊尔的昆布喜玛拉雅（Khumbu Himal），成功完成了海拔6,162米的西山脊（West Ridge）首攀；2005年，在巴基斯坦喀喇昆仑山脉（Karakoram），他从Tsetse峰的南山脊成功登顶；2006年，在西藏罗波岗日（Loinbo Kangri），他成功开辟了Phola Kyung西南坡的一条线路；不过这些只是他在10年中率先开辟的诸多线路中的一小部分。
In 2007, with Don Bowie and Chris Warner, the founder and owner of Earth Treks climbing gyms, Normand embarked on an expedition to climb K2. “Chris put together something of a sponsorship package for that trip,” Normand says, “and he sold me as the guy who has climbed all the peaks you’ve never heard of.” The expedition was a rousing success: They made to the top, and Normand became the first Scotsman to stand on the summit.
2007年，诺曼德与唐·鲍伊（Don Bowie）以及攀岩馆Earth Treks的创始人和所有人克里斯·华纳（Chris Warner）一同准备攀登K2的探险之旅。“为了本次出行，克里斯把一位赞助商提供的东西都装进了包里。”诺曼德说道。“克里斯向赞助商吹嘘说，我把他们从来没听说过的高峰都攀遍了。”这次历险之旅大获成功，他们顺利登顶，诺曼德则成了站在K2峰顶的第一位苏格兰人。
Normand moved to Beijing in 2010 to take a job at Renmin University as a professor of physics. It was there, in China, that he embarked on a whole new chapter of his climbing career
After landing on his feet in China (the woman he had followed no longer in the picture), Costa was astounded by the lifetimes and lifetimes of unclimbed rock— granite, limestone, sandstone, sport, trad, big wall, you name it. “Oh my god there’s so much to do here,” he croons in one of our several Skype interviews, still giddy over the possibilities even several years after moving there.
Costa initially focused on hard sport climbing, putting up new routes in Qingdao, Yangshuo, and Getu on the 2011 Petzl RocTrip. Tendonitis in his elbow forced him to change tacks, however. “I kind of decided if I can’t climb hard,” Costa says, “I might as well get into alpine climbing.” So, five years ago, Costa picked up his first set of ice tools. He visited Shuangqiao Valley, in Sichuan, where a Chinese climbing company called Kailas was holding its annual ice climbing festival. Costa says, “I got all the gear and couldn’t find a partner, so my first climb was a rope solo.”
起初，科斯塔专注于难度很大的运动攀，在青岛、阳朔以及2011年的格凸“攀岩之旅”（Petzl RocTrip）活动中开辟了多条新线路。但肘部的肌腱炎迫使他改弦更张。“我在想，我是否还能攀登高难度的线路。”科斯塔谈到。“倒不如改成阿尔卑斯攀登吧。”所以，5年前，科斯塔第一次拿起了冰攀装备。他前往四川的双桥山谷，在这里，一家名为凯乐石（Kailas）的中国攀登产品公司正在举办每年一度的攀冰节。科斯塔说：“我得到了所有的装备，可就是找不到伙伴，所以，我的第一次攀登是一次独攀（rope solo）。”
His progress was quick. That first winter, Costa climbed his first WI 5. From there he started bolting mixed- and dry-tooling routes, and had soon established the hardest mixed lines in China, some up to M12.
他的进步很快。在第一个冬季，科斯塔就完成了自己的首个WI 5攀登。其后，他开始尝试锚栓辅助的线路和干攀（dry-tooling）线路，没用多久，他就开辟了中国难度最大的混合线路（mixed lines），难度高达M12。
In 2013, Costa had a watershed year. He showed up in Shuangqiao Valley in the autumn, but was once again partnerless. “So I was like ‘Fuck it, I’m just going to go on my own,” he remembers with a laugh.
He set his sights on Eagle Peak, a rocky 5,300-meter granite subpeak of the 5,428-meter Putala (var: Potala), and settled on the Southwest Face as his objective. The face is split in two by a plateau: the lower half is a 300-meter overhanging wall, which leads to a plateau, and then a more straightforward vertical upper half. Climbing hard aid up to A3 through that section, he eventually made it to the upper face (which was just “5.10+ solo climbing,” to hear him tell it) and finally the summit. He named the line Invisible Hand Sit Start, and for his efforts he was nominated for the prestigious Piolet D’Or.
他把目标锁定在了老鹰峰（Eagle Peak），那是海拔5,428米的布达拉峰（Putala，也称为Potala）的次高峰，这座花岗岩高峰海拔5,300米，并将目标确定为从西南壁登顶。这面山坡被高原分为两部分：较低的部分是一个300米高的悬壁，直通上面的高原，较高的部分是一面垂直岩壁。较低部分的攀登难度为A3，他成功攀越这部分后，最终攀上较高部分的岩壁（如他所言，这部分的难度不过是“5.10+独攀”而已。），最后登上顶峰。他将这条线路命名为Invisible Hand Sit Start，并因为这次攀登获得了著名的“金冰镐奖”（Piolet D’Or）提名。
In his first year living in China, Normand developed a partnership with the American alpinist Kyle Dempster. “I first met Bruce in 2009 in Urumqi, China,” wrote Kyle Dempster in a blog post for Outdoor Research, just two months before he died. (Dempster and his partner, Scott Adamson, perished in August/September 2016 while attempting the first ascent of the North Face of Ogre II in the Pakistani Karakoram.)
来到中国生活的第一年，诺曼德与美国阿尔卑斯登山家凯尔·邓普斯特建立起了伙伴关系。“我最初遇到布鲁斯是2009年，当时是在中国的乌鲁木齐。”凯尔·邓普斯特在Outdoor Research公司网站的一篇博客文章中写道，这篇文章刊出后仅仅两个月，凯尔便离世了。（2016年8、9月间，凯尔·邓普斯特与伙伴斯科特·亚当森（Scott Adamson）在巴基斯坦喀喇昆仑山脉“食人魔峰”（Ogre）II北壁尝试首攀时不幸遇难。）
Dempster and Normand’s partnership began with what Normand describes as a “blind date.” He originally had plans to climb in the Xuelian range with Kelly Cordes, but Cordes wanted to bring along Kyle as well. When Cordes broke an ankle, forcing him to drop out of the expedition before it even started, Kyle went anyway. In 2010, over the course of 5 days, they made the first ascent of the north face of the 6,422-meter Xuelian (which translates as Snow Lotus), via a route they dubbed The Great White Jade Heist (VI WI 5 M6 5.7 R) in the Tian Shan range. They spentThey won the Piolet D’Or for their climb.
邓普斯特和诺曼德的伙伴关系始于诺曼德所说的一次“盲目约会”。起初，诺曼德准备与凯利·科德斯（Kelly Cordes）攀登“雪莲峰”，可科德斯想把凯尔也带上。当科德斯因为踝关节骨折，被迫在探险之旅开始之前就退出时，凯尔只身前往加入诺曼德。2010年，在5天的时间里，他们完成了海拔6,422米的雪莲峰北壁首攀，他们将天山山脉的这条攀登线路命名为The Great White Jade Heist（VI WI 5 M6 5.7 R）。他们因为这次成功登顶荣膺“金冰镐奖”。
On their next outing, also in 2010, they turned their attention to the Minya Konka massif in the Daxue Shan range, in Sichuan. Here they made ascents of the 6,618-meter Mt. Edgar and the 6,376-meter Mt. Grosvenor. They started with Grosvenor, where they encountered thin ice, as their warm-up for the more challenging Edgar. “We put a few symbolic screws in on the crux,” Normand says.
同样在2010年，他们将下一次出征的注意力转向了四川大雪山的贡嘎山（Minya Konka）。他们在这里成功登顶海拔6,618的爱德嘉峰（Mt. Edgar）和海拔6,376米的日乌且峰（Mt. Grosvenor）。他们首先攀登的是日乌且峰，作为攀登更具挑战性的爱德嘉峰的热身，他们在那里攀爬时遇到了薄冰。“我们在难点象征性地安置了几个冰锥。”诺曼德谈到。
They then turned their attention to Edgar, and opened a new route on the east face which they named The Rose of No Man's Land (VI WI5+ M6), for which they were nominated for their second Piolet D’Or as a team. In a report on their climbs at Alpinist.com, Dempster was quoted as saying “Mt. Edgar has a high level of risk and objective hazard to it—not something that I am comfortable or proud about ascending... I don't ever want to climb a mountain with levels of danger similar to Edgar ever again.”
随后，他们将眼光投向了爱德嘉峰，并在东壁开辟了一条线路，他们将这条线路命名为The Rose of No Man's Land（VI WI5+ M6），凭借这条线路，他们第二次获得了“金冰镐奖”提名。Alpinist.com一篇有关这次攀登的报告，引述邓普斯特的话说：“攀登爱德嘉峰的风险极高，而且存在客观的危险——那可不是让我愉快的攀登，我也不会为成功登顶感到自豪……我再也不想再次攀登像爱德嘉峰那么危险的高峰了。”
Normand says that “Kyle was an introspective sort of guy. He’d always think deeply about stuff. Loved ones, what if you die, that sort of thing. We talked quite a bit about that.”
In his Outdoor Research blog post, Dempster wrote, “Bruce taught me that a well-planned expedition involves months of prep work, research, and collecting as much information as possible regarding potential logistical and bureaucratic complexities that might hamper the expedition.
Climb hard. Work harder.
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