American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Asia, Pakistan, Central Karakoram, HAR Pinnacle, First Ascent, and Latok I, Attempt

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 1998

HAR Pinnacle, First Ascent, and Latok I, Attempt. Our expedition consisted of John Bouchard, Barry Rugo, Tom Nonis, and me. We had two permits, one for the often-attempted north ridge of Latok I (7145m) and one for the south pillar of the Ogre (Biantha Brakk, 7388m). In August, Bouchard and I made three attempts on Latok I. The final attempt was with Nonis and Rugo, moving alpine style. We reached a point on the pillar just below the halfway point. The climbing was superb. Unfortunately, extreme heat was causing considerable melting and rockfall from high on the face. Despite the stable weather, we felt conditions too unsafe to continue. Due to the very dry conditions, we followed the rock pillar from the very bottom of the route. Rock climbing was on solid granite up to 5.10 in difficulty.

Nonis and Rugo’s attempt on the Ogre was stopped at the base of the main rock pillar due to dangerous avalanche conditions and bad weather.

In between our second and third attempts on Latok I, Bouchard and I made the first ascent of a previously unclimbed/unnamed spire directly behind our base camp at the head of the Choctoi Glacier. We estimate its altitude at 5700 meters. We climbed the spire in one long day from our base camp following moderate 3rd-class mixed gullies for 1,000 feet, then 11 pitches of rock climbing up to 5.10b on the south face. The actual summit is a spectacular perch, flat and about the size of a large table. In the absence of any official or local name for this lovely peak, we named it HAR Pinnacle after the names of our three base camp staff, Hassan, Abdul, and Rassool.

Mark Richey

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