Asia, Pakistan, Chogolisa Traverse
Chogolisa Traverse. From September 10 to 15 our expedition, Liam Elliot, Hamish Irvine, Ulric Jessop, Simon Lamb and I as leader, made the first complete traverse of Chogolisa’s twin summits (7665 meters or 25,148 feet; 7654 meters or 25,112 feet). The southwest summit was reached at 8:30 A.M. on August 14 after we had spent two days ascending the 1500-meter-high northwest face of the southwest ridge, at the head of the Vigne Glacier, and another day in high winds climbing the southwest ridge itself. Also on the 14th we traversed the summits’ connection arête in nearly perfect conditions to the slightly lower northeast top (Bride Peak). All five members then made a rapid descent to 7000 meters. Weather conditions were mixed throughout but were perfect on the summits’ day with good visibility as it had to be! Technically the route was not trying, but large cornices abound on Chogolisa’s ridges, which in places were very delicate. The southwest summit is a razor-edge whilst the northeast summit is a rocky surmount 20 meters high and very exposed. Sadly, later in the summer, Liam Elliot was killed on Broad Peak, falling with a huge cornice from 7900 meters on the summit ridge down the east face.
Andrew R. Fanshawe, Alpine Climbing Group