Asia, Pakistan, Kanjut Sar II

Publication Year: 1986.

Kanjut Sar II. Our expedition comprised Daria Vezzoli, Ueli Stahel, Richi Ott, Hans Peter Achtnich and me as leader. On the approach march along the Hispar Glacier from Nagar with 29 porters, we had lots of problems. Endless discussions over wages, food rations and daily stages kept us busy. After 11 days we established Base Camp on June 19 on the Khani Bass Glacier at 4650 meters. Our first attempt on Kanjut Sar II ended high in bad weather on a route with technical difficulties. Short of time, we attempted the unascended south face of Kanjut Sar I. From an Advance Base at 5000 meters we started on July 5 alpine style up the steep face. Frontpointing for the first six pitches in hard ice of more than 60°, we gained 250 meters. The angle lessened, allowing good progress. We had just set up Camp I at 5700 meters when we heard the sound of tons of wet snow sliding. We jumped aside to a safer spot. The avalanche swept away our camp, leaving us barefoot in the snow. Fortunately we could dig out enough gear to descend, but it was difficult without outer boots. Stahel, Ott and I decided to try Kanjut Sar II alpine-style. We climbed the west glacier, which had some pitches up to 50°, to the saddle between the summit and P 6500. We established Camps I and II at 5800 and 6400 meters on July 8 and 9. It stormed on the second night, but July 10 was perfect. After a traverse around a rocky ridge, we climbed a gully of steep black ice. Between the rocks and the séracs of the summit shelf glacier, the ice was 70°. After this, we worked up soft snow to the summit (6831 meters, 22,411 feet).

Toni Spirig, Schweizer Alpen Club