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Asia, Pakistan, Kuti Dorkush, South Ridge

Kuti Dorkush, South Ridge. Annabelle Barker, Mary Twomey, Janet Vince and I established a fantastic base camp on the north side at the Sat Marao Glacier at ca. 3600 meters on a vegetated, flower-strewn ablation valley. Huge boulders formed caves for a kitchen and storeroom, which was fortunate as we had less than one week’s good weather out of the month spent there.

High camp was set up at ca. 4500 meters with a further bivy at ca. 5000 meters. An ascent was made by all four team members via a new route on August 13. The (unroped) ascent took the snow/ice couloir at the left end of the ridge (Scottish Grade 1-2) then followed the 40- to 50-degree ridge to the summit. Some avalanche risk was encountered. The descent was made on the north side of the ridge via a couloir full of stone fall and rappels over seracs at the far left of the ridge. Further exploration was curtailed by the appalling weather (which stopped us from being homesick; the constant rain was very reminiscent of the great British climate!).

Penny Clay, United Kingdom