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Asia, Pakistan, Western Karakoram, Rakaposhi, First Iranian Ascent

Rakaposhi, First Iranian Ascent. With only a few previous expeditions from Iran, and as our first experience to the Himalayan mountains, we chose Rakaposhi (7788m), a mountain of moderate height and difficulty. After three days’ march we started climbing from base camp (4400m) on July 13 via the first ascent route of the southwest spur. The same day we placed Camp I at 5200 meters and fixed 150 meters of rope. On July 19, we placed Camp II at 5750 meters with 350 meters of fixed rope. Bypassing a gendarme and fixing 250 meters of rope, Camp III was established on July 25 at 5750 meters. The Monk’s Head could be reached by a 600-meter 50-60° ice slope that we fixed completely, and thereby reached Camp IV at 6400 meters on July 10, the end of the technical climbing. The first assault team reached Camp V at 7010 meters on August 6, but was too exhausted to go for the summit the next morning, so they came back to Camp IV to rest. I had planned to bring everything we needed to set up Camp VI at 7350 meters (as the first expedition had done in 1958, and the Belgian in 1983), but the first summit attempt from Camp V reduced our allotment of time and the team’s energy. We had had four days of continuous good weather; another two days to reach Camp V and then the top would leave little room for the second assault team to reach the summit in the same period of good weather. There were also only snow slopes without technical difficulties remaining to the top, so there was no risk of delay in a move. Therefore all six members who were at Camp IV went to Camp V, and on August 9 at 2:30 a.m., we left for the summit. The first climbers reached the top at 10 a.m. and the last person at noon. The next six days were spent cleaning up the mountain. On August 15, we left base camp for home. Team members were Mansoor Afsharian, Daryoush Babazadeh, Jalal Cheshmeh Ghasabani (summitter), Farshad Khalili Khoshemehr (summitter), Hosein Khoshcheshm (summitter), Ramin Shojaei Baghini (summitter), Esmaeil Motehayerpasand, Reza Zarei (summitter), Mohamad Jodeiri, Alireza Amzajerdian, and Mohamad Oraz (summitter).

Ramin Shojaei Baghini, Iran