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Asia, Pakistan, Lila Peak, West Face/North Ridge, First Official Ascent

Lila Peak, West Face/North Ridge, First Official Ascent*. Lila Peak (6200 m) in the Gondokoro area of the Pakistan Karakoram was officially unclimbed; however, signs of a British group were found on the summit (gas cartridge) and west face-south slopes/ face-west (the British group climbed without a permit on the easier route of our descent.) The summit was reached on July 2 at 11 a.m. by Fabio Iacchini and Paolo Cavagnetto. The two started from ABC at 1:20 a.m. and climbed alpine style (no fixed ropes) on the 55-degree slopes. The main difficulties were the avalanche dangers due to loose snow below the summit. The descent took place on the west face down to the west col (10 rappels), and then on the easier south-facing slopes. At 5 p.m. the pair was back at BC. The summit was reached again on July 3 by the second team (Camillo Della Vedova, Giovanni Ongaro and Guido Ruggeri). They left ABC at 12:10 a.m. and reached the summit at 11 a.m. They spent two hours on top, then descended to BC, which they reached at 10 p.m.

This was the second attempt on the mountain. The first took place last year and failed because of bad environmental conditions.

Oreste Forno, Italy

*It was reported in High Mountain Sport’s “Mountain Info” that the mountain had previously received at least three unauthorized ascents, first in 1987 by a British group who climbed the west face and then rappelled down the far side, then, sometime “in the ‘90s,” by a German team who took roughly the same line of ascent, and a third time by a Swiss team, in 1993.