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Asia, Pakistan, Southern Batura Mustagh, Western Karakoram Range, Hunza

Southern Batura Mustagh, western Karakoram Range, Hunza. A Canadian party comprising Fred Roots, leader, Donald Lyon, John Ricker, Lisle Irwin, Donald Poole, Hermann Jamek, Momin Khalifa and Karl Tomm, arrived at Aliabad, Hunza on May 25 to investigate the region south of Batura and to attempt to locate and climb a peak reported as Hachindar Kish, 23,500 feet, but not precisely identified or known to have been visited. After a fortnight of back-packing reconnaissances to unravel the local geography, Base Camp was established at 11,800 feet on Muchio- hul Glacier, immediately south of the Batura massif. The name Hachindar Kish was finally settled on a magnificent slender rock spire on the west side of Muchiohul valley about four miles south of Batura. Reconnaissances of three sides of the Hachindar Kish massif revealed no route safe for portering or camps early in the season, and the upper 4000 feet of very steep rock, from any side, would require more mechanical aid equipment, and more time, than the party had. Attention was then turned to a pyramidal massif about 22,800 feet, between Muchiohul and Shishpur valleys, which the party called Sangemarmur (marble) from a conspicuous band of yellow marble crossing the summit. Seven camps were set out on the southwest face of this peak. From Camp V, at 17,500 feet, Ricker, Irwin and Tomm spent six days cutting up a steep ice apron, and reached the west ridge at 19,800 feet where they were stopped by ice-glazed rocks. From Camp VII at 19,500 feet on the broken southwest glacier Lyon and Poole and I pushed through what we thought was the worst of the technical difficulties and bivouacked at 20,650 feet in a bergschrund below what appeared to be a straightforward rock and ice spur leading to the summit. During the night we were struck by the first storm for many days, with heavy snow that so increased the avalanche activity that retreat was imperative. The expedition descended to Base Camp. After establishing two camps on July 9 Lyon and porter Johan Ali reached the summit of a glacier col about 18,200 feet immediately south of Batura between Batura and Hachindar Kish, which leads to the Baltar and Bola Das valleys. The next day Poole and I followed in their footsteps, and continued on to the summit of the next peak to the south, about 19,300 feet, which was called Batokshi after a goat pasture at its base. Some further exploration of the Yaienhisk and Shishpur glacier valleys was made in the meantime by Ricker and Irwin, and the party returned to Aliabad on July 15.

Ernest Frederick Roots