Two-time World Cup lead champion Sachi Amma, of Japan, climbed the second ascent of Tinipi (5.15a) on Borneo’s Mt. Kinabalu on May 16. One week after Amma left the island, a 6.0 magnitude earthquake toppled the Donkey Ears formation, taking the famed route with it.
The earthquake took 19 lives, including a mountain guide and local school children. According to BBC news, 137 individuals were stranded on the mountain until the tremors and resulting rock fall subsided.
Before the route was destroyed, Amma spent three weeks in May climbing on Mt. Kinabalu with Japanese legend Yuji Hirayama. Tinipi, bolted by Hirayama, is located more than 13,000 feet above sea level, adding to the 5.15a’s difficulty. Daniel Woods claimed the first ascent in 2012, on one of Hirayama’s previous trips to Borneo.
Amma repeated the route only eight days into his trip, as well as claiming the second ascent of Excalibur (5.14c), also established by Hirayama and first sent by Daniel Woods.
“Those climbs gave me confidence to climb on this mountain,” said Amma.
Tinipi means “Dream” in the local Bornean language, and Hirayama said it was the best line he has put up thus far.
“I want to finish my dream line Tinipi when I return next year,” Hirayama said at the end of the trip. “It will be my breakthrough goal.”
However, after the earthquake destroyed the “ear” of the Donkey Ears formation that held the route, Hirayama’s dream of sending Tinipi will remain a dream. He wrote on Instagram, “About donkey…yes I’m sad, very sad.”
Tinipi is not Amma’s first 5.15. He has sent Chris Sharma testpieces Biographie (5.15a) in Ceüse, France, and Fight or Flight (5.15b) in Oliana, Spain. In February he sent Catxasa (5.15a) in Santa Linya, Spain, on his fourth attempt. He also excels at outdoor bouldering, having sent two V15s, Hydrangea and Babel, in a single day.
— Masidi Manjun (@MasidiM) June 5, 2015