Ultar Sar, First Ascent. The most significant achievement of the last Karakoram season was the first ascent of the difficult and dangerous Ultar Sar (7388 m), by the Pakistanis called Ultar II, and known also as Bojohagur or Bojohagur II. It is the main peak of the two-summit massif of Bojohagur Duanasir situated in the southeast part of the Batura Muztagh, ca. 15 kilometers north of Nagar and ca. 13 kilometers north from the Karakoram Highway. In the last few years it had been renowned as the world’s highest still unclimbed mountain.
In July the virgin summit was finally conquered by two separate Japanese expeditions. On July 11 the first ascent was completed by a duo from the Japan Alpine Club Tokai expedition, including the party leader, Akito Yamazaki. The pair climbed alpine-style from the southwest side of the mountain. Sadly, during the descent, the exhausted Yamazaki developed high altitude sickness and died at Camp I on July 19. On July 31 the summit was ascended again, by a Japan Kathmandu Club Expedition led by Ken Takahashi. The climbers fixed 4000 meters of ropes from 5200 meters to 7300 meters. The summit team consisted of the leader and four other members: Masayuki Ando, Ryushi Hoshino, Wataru Saito and Nobuo Tsutsumi. They followed the south ridge.
During the last decade Ultar Sar had attracted more than 15 expedition from six or seven countries (including Norway in 1993). Their desperate attempts claimed a number of lives. The exploration was initiated in 1986 by a Japanese party, of which Ken Takahashi was a member. This year four parties gained permission to attempt Ultar Sar: three from Japan (two of them successful) and one Pakistani-Korean. The slightly lower Ultar West (7329 m) was ascended in 1984 by three climbers from a Japanese expedition.
Jozef Nyka, Editor, Taternik