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Asia, Pakistan, Mount Buni-Zom, North Ridge, Attempt

Mount Buni-Zom, North Ridge, Attempt. Our Academic Alpine Club of Hokkaido Buni-Zom Peak Expedition, 1995, was composed of Kiyokatsu Saito, leader, Kazushige Honda, Kentarou Tanaka, Osamu Sanpei, Toru Shimizu and Satoru Henmi. We left Chitral on July 30 and traveled to Phargam by jeep. We walked to the Kulakmari Falls and constructed Base Camp below the falls at 4000 meters on August 1. We climbed a 500-meter rock wall on the left bank of this falls over the next three days to get to the end of Khorabohtt glacier. The lower and middle sections of this rock wall were of compact granite, but the upper part was covered by glacial talus breccia.

On August 4 we placed Camp I at the lower end of the glacier at 4750 meters, and on August 6 proceeded to Camp II at 5120 meters. On the way to Camp II, we first saw the peak of BuniZom (6551 m) and reconnoi- tered our route. The west ridge proved to be jagged and of loose and shattered granite, so we decided to climb up the glacier and approach via the north ridge, as was done by the New Zealand first ascent party in 1957 (New Zealand Alpine Journal, 1958). After two day’s rest in Base Camp, on August 10, we climbed to Camp II. Over the next two days we climbed the steep ice wall (400 m) that extends to the col between the main and north peaks of BuniZom to get to Camp III on a ice shelf at 5900 meters. On August 13, Saito, Sanpei and Henmi attempted to reach 6100 meters on the north ridge of the main peak, but were foiled by a lack of climbing gear. This ridge was narrow and a mix of rocks and huge cornices (especially from 6200-6500 meters). So, we turned to the top of the north peak (6338 meters), reaching it at 9 a.m. via an easy snow climb. On August 20, seven days after the first attempt, Saito, Henmi and Honda tried again, but floundered desperately in deep snow on the narrow ridge and were prevented by bad avalanche conditions on the snowy traverse from reaching anything other than a horn below the summit at 6400 meters.

Kiyokatsu Saito, Academic Alpine Club of Hokkaido