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Asia, China, Khan Yailik, First Ascent

Khan Yailik, First Ascent. Mt. Khan Yailik rises to 6744 meters in the western part of the Kun Lun mountain region, about 800 kilometers from Kashgar along the Xingiang-Tibet road near the border of India. The mountain name, Khan Yailik, means “King in the Glass.” A Japanese team (JWAF Kun Lun Expedition ‘96) ascended this unclimbed peak during July and August via the west face. We were composed of Hitoshi Yamaoka (Leader, 37), Hideya Kawai (36), Masamichi Ogiwara (26), Hisao Tsukada (45), Kiyofumi Toyoguchi (26), Takashi Suganami (20) and Toru Hiei (27). On the way we had to go through two 5000-meter passes by car. The approach to Maza from Kashgar was the same as for K2. The Base Camp at 5000 meters beside the river, which we reached July 27, was about five hours away by foot from the road at Kidaidaban Pass. The glacier started at more than 5000 meters. The nearest Chinese army camp was Tahonryntan.

Camp I was placed on July 31 at 5800 meters on the ridge coming down from the west face. We established Camp II at 6400 meters on August 3 after climbing the west face, despite its rotten rock; it was the final camp before the summit. On August 10, all members reached the summit by climbing snow and ice on the south ridge, which became sharp going to the top. For me this was the success after an exploration in 1995. There are still many unclimbed 6000-meter mountains waiting for mountaineers climbing in alpine style.

Hitoshi Yamaoka, Japan Workers' Alpine Federation