K2 & Karakoram 2010 Season’s End Chronicle Part 2


Preliminary Notes:

a) The information below reflects the opinions of the author, and is not the official position of the website.
b) Data refers to the Summer Season on Karakoram, deadline September 6. Summits and events occurred after are not part of this chronicle.

By Rodrigo Granzotto Peron

Trango towers Range – Karakoram – Photo Max Kausch


Amin Brakk (5850m) is a tough challenge, summited only three times previously, all through the West Face. The first ascent was in 1999, by David Stastny, Filip Silhán and Marek Holecek, when they set the Czech Express route. The first female to summit was Silvia Vidal (SPA), also in 1999, through a new route – Sol Solet.

In 2010 an all-female rope defied the Western Slopes as well. The summit was touched by Russian Galina Chibitok and Ukrainians Anna Yasinskaya and Marina Kopteva. They made the first repetition of the Czech Express route, with a slight variation. The top was reached on 19 July.


On old times, Sherpas were attached to a specific peak (like Apa on Everest, Nawang Thile on Cho Oyu and Dawa II on Dhaulagiri). At most, they were specialists on two peaks, normally Everest and Cho Oyu. Very few climbers from Nepal on old days bagged more than three different 8000ers.

But this story has different pages nowadays. A growing number of Nepali climbers are collecting 8000ers and breaking several records. For example, in 2010 Mingma I Sherpa and his brother Chhang Dawa Sherpa surmounted four different 8000ers in about 100 days: Annapurna (April), Dhaulagiri (May), Nanga Parbat (July) and Gasherbrum I (August). They share the present record of four 8000ers in a calendar-year with 11 other climbers. Now, only Kangchenjunga to go, scheduled for the spring of 2011. If Mingma succeed there, he will be the first Nepali to collect all 14. Let’s stay tunned.

In 2010 it was Sherpalooza on Karakoram, with several Nepalis on the spot. On Nanga Parbat the brothers Mingma I and Chhang Dawa summited. On Gasherbrum II topped out Pemba I Sherpa, Tshering Dorje III, Sanu (4x8000ers), Pasang Lama Bhote and Pema Tshering I (8x8000ers). On Gasherbrum I summited again, on double-headers, Tshering Dorje III (8x8000ers), Pasang Lama Bhote (7x8000ers), Mingma I (13x8000ers) and Chhang Dawa (7x8000ers). A terrific season abroad!

Staying a little more on the subject, below are listed some of the records.

I – Nepalis with most different 8000ers bagged (“internal race”):

13 Mingma I Sherpa

11 Serap Jangbu Sherpa

09 Dawa Wangchuk Sherpa

08 Pema Tshering Sherpa
08 Tshering Dorje III Sherpa

07 Nima Dorje Sherpa
07 Chhang Dawa Sherpa
07 Pasang Lama Bhote

06 Nima Temba Sherpa
06 Phurba Chhiri Sherpa
06 Dawa Tshering Sherpa
06 Tshering Dorje II Sherpa

05 Pemba Tshering Sherpa
05 Lhakpa Rita II Sherpa
05 Pemba Rinji Sherpa
05 Thilen Sherpa
05 Jumik Bhote
05 Lhakpa Tshering IV Sherpa
05 Marty Schmidt
05 Tarke Sherpa
05 Dawa Chhiri Sherpa
05 Tika Ram Gurung
05 Lhakpa Dorje V Sherpa

II – Nepalis with most ascents on each 8000er:

EV – 20 summits – Apa Sherpa
K2 – 2 summits – Serap Jangbu Sherpa and Thilen Sherpa
KG – 4 summits – Dawa Wangchuk Sherpa
LH – 4 summits – Palden Namgye Sherpa and Chewang Lendu Sherpa
MK – 3 summits – Lhakpa Dorje Sherpa
CH – 9 summits – Danuru Sherpa
DH – 4 summits – Ang Rita Sherpa and Dawa II Sherpa
MN – 3 summits – Kusang Dorje Sherpa and Phurba Chhiri Sherpa
NP – 1 summit (several) *
AN – 3 summits – Ang Dawa Tamang
G1 – 3 summits – Dawa Wangchuk Sherpa
BP – 1 summit (several) *
G2 – 1 summit (several) *
SH – 1 summit (several) *


a) * Nanga Parbat, Broad Peak, Gasherbrum II and Shishapangma have no repeaters from Nepal.

b) Nepalis are absolute record-holders on EV, KG, LH, MK, CH, DH, MN and AN. They share the record with climbers from other nationalities on K2.


VENERE PEAK (China, 6500m)

As preparation for GI’s NE Face, Italians Hervé Barmasse, Daniele Bernasconi and Mario Panzeri, all seasoned and skilled climbers, summited an unclimbed point on the Hidden Peak ridge, which they christened Venere Peak. Barmasse described the ascent this way: “A tough ascent with mixed climb, cornices, deep snow and a descent through a different route to avoid the bivac”. The route is 2150m-long and the last 800 meters were very difficult.

HASSIN PEAK (Pakistan, 6337m) [or FAROL WEST, 6370m]

Other Italian team claimed a first ascent of Hassin Peak, which lies between K6 and K7, in Hushe Valley, Karakoram, and is reputed to be a tough job. Previous attempt on this peak was by Steve Swenson, Hans Mitterer and Raphael Slawinski, in 2005, via W Buttress (Charakusa Glacier).

Taking advantage of a brief weather window after a try on K7’s West Face (were they completed seven pitches), Daniele Nardi and Lorenzo Angelozzi reached the summit on August 19. The duo reported too many avalanches, low temperatures and a long period of snowy days. It is amazing to note that Angelozzi is just 19 years old and this was his first major experience in Karakoram.

Later, on an article for BMC, the expert Lindsay Griffin corrected the history. In fact, the Italians opened a new line on the west slopes of Farol West (6370m), a peak first climbed in 1991, by a British party.

Note: More details can be found here: www.thebmc.co.uk/News.aspx?id=3903

BAUSH-UL PEAK (5610m) and SEBAS TOWER (Pakistan, 5860m)

The Equipo Nacional Femenino de Alpinismo (ENFA) from Spain, inside the “Proyecto Karakórum”, with Miriam Marco (29a), Maialen Ojer Tsakiridu (39a), Maider Fraile Arce (33a) and María Asunción Yanguas (33a), with guide Simón Elías, after a hard training season, headed for Pakistan to try a first ascent.

As a warm-up, they ascended Baush-Ul Peak (5610m), a peak on Hushe Valley. Summit was reached by Asunción, Maider, Maialen and Miriam, accompanied by Ester Sabadell (filming), Simón Elías and the HAP Hassan Jan (PAK), on August 4.

The main target was Sebas Tower (c 5860m), a spire on Masherbrum’s massif, described by the girls as “a large witche’s umbrella”. On August 13, Maialen and Maider made it to the top, a major achievement for feminine mountaineering in Spain.

SUTHERLAND PEAK (Kyrghyzstan, 5080m) and ILLUMINATION PEAK (Kyrghyzstan, 5048m)

Americans Michael (Mike) Royer and Chris Parenteau and British Jamie Maddison performed the first ascents of both Pik 5080, which they christened Sutherland Peak, via East Face, and Pik 5048, named Illumination Peak, via NE Face. Both peaks lie in the Djangart Valley, Tien Shan range.

Note: More details can be found here: www.thebmc.co.uk/News.aspx?id=3882

CHASHKIN SAR or SAMINA PEAK (Pakistan, 6400m)

Chashkin Sar (circa 6400m) lies in the Maidur Valley, Shimshal, Pakistan. The expedition under leadership of Mirza Ali, and with Stelian Pavalche (ROM), Tafat Shah, Yahya Baig, Salmat Khan, Arshad Karim and Samina Baig made the first ascent of this peak in early September.

They reported that “the peak has two main points which are approximately 35 to 40 degrees and two crevasses. The summit has a big serac on the east side. The top of Chashkin Sar (Samina Peak) is very flat and big”.

Samina Baig (18a), is a young lady climber who is nephew of Yousef Khan and Mohammad Ullah, two very famous alpinists from Shimshal Valley. Chashkin Sar is the first step to more ambitious flights for 2011, perhaps a 7000er.

CHICHE PEAK (5860m) and SHALMUKI (5068m)

Germans Christian Walter and Jens Sommerfeld summited Chiche Peak (August, 11th) and Shalmuki (August, 1st), two first ascents in Chiche Valley, south of the Rupal Valley. The peak named after the valley where it stands was previously defied by Albert Mummery and party (1895), without success. More than a century later, the FA arrived.


Two expeditions were granted permit to try Latok I (7151m) this year.

The First was a Swedish team, with Kristor Jonsson, under leadership of David Walter Faelt. The “strategy was to go as late as possible in the season to have the North Ridge as dry as possible”, leader’s words. But the floodings in Pakistan imposed a serious obstacle to the expedition, and they postponed it to spring.

The other was a Japanese expedition, with Fumitaka Ichimura, Yusuke Sato and Katsutaka “Jumbo” Yokoyama. The Giri-Giri Boys are not an official club of alpinism, they are a bunch of friends with the same passion for mountains. To be part of the group one must be invited (some other members are Kazuaki Amano, Ryo Masumoto, Takai Nagato, Yasushe Okada and Genki Narumi). “Giri Giri” means at the edge, on the limit. And they are specialized on extreme climbs on new or difficult routes all around the globe.

These are some of the realizations of these Japanese on recent years:

2008 – Kalanka (N Face)
2008 – Denali (Isis Face + Slovak Direct Route)
2008 – Bears Tooth (NE Face)
2009 – Spantik (Golden Pillar)
2009 – Tawoche (N Face)
2010 – Mt. Church (N Face)
2010 – Denali (West Buttress)
2010 – Mt. Hunter (Moonflower Buttress)
2010 – Mt. Logan East Peak (SE Face)

For the summer season they chose the extremely difficult N Ridge of Latok I, a 2500-meters line. This route was experienced twice before. The first in 1978, by Jim Donini, Michael Kennedy, George Lowe and Jeff Lowe (they went almost to the top, but retreated from 7000m). The second was by Maxime Turgeon and Louis-Phillippe Menard in 2006, again without success.

The Japanese made two separate attempts, both ending at about 5900m: a North Face line and through the N Ridge. The reasons why the expedition was called off were the dangerousness of the high slopes of Latok, the falling rocks and the incredible amount of snow.


K7 is another difficult spire in Pakistan, with almost 30 attempts and very few ascents. K7 Main (6934m) was first ascended by the Japanese in 1984. K7 West (6858m) was first conquered by a Slovenian party in 2007.

In 2010 there were three independent attempts on these peaks.

K7 Main was attempted by a Spanish team (Miguel Anta, Rubén Calvo and Cecilia Buil). They opted to ascend on the SW Face and then take the W Pillar on the last 1000 meters. After very hard rock climbing a snow storm forced them back. They almost completed the Slovenian Route of 2008.

On nearby K7 West, the Italians Daniele Nardi and Lorenzo Angelozzi completed only seven pitches before retreat. Later they bagged the summit of the unclimbed Hassan Peak.

Also on K7 West, Russians Oleg Koltunov and Vjacheslav Ivanov opened a new line on the steep East Face. No further details were given until the end of this chronicle.


South Koreans friends Jang Ji-Myeong, Lee Sang-Il, Im Il-Jin and Kim Hyeong-Il are a group targeting 10 state-of-art climbs in High Asia. Last year, Kim opened a new route on the NE Face of Spantik (7027m), in alpine style. For this year they chose Gasherbrum V (7147m) as target, expecting to draw a new line on this 7000er. Lee explained: “We shouldn’t limit ourselves to the eight-thousanders” and “we also need to explore mountain peaks that are not necessarily the highest but are the most meaningful to climb” (on website JoongAng Daily).

As reported previously on ExWeb, “difficult conditions and exhaustion forced them back at about 6,550 m”.

*This Chronicle is based on preliminary data and under analysis. Some will be revisited in the following months, with possibly a few corrections to be done by then.


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