American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Asia, Pakistan, Central Karakoram, The Latok Group, Clarification

  • Notes
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 1998

The Latok Group, Clarification. The 1997 ascents of Latok II have allowed us to clarify the naming of the three peaks of the Latok group. Below, we list the altitudes given to the peaks by three different sources: the Ortograficzna Mapa Szkicowa Karacorum, elaborated by Jerzy Wala in 1971; the triangulation results from the 1977 Italian expedition led by Professor Arturo Bergamaschi that made the first ascent of Latok II; and the map Karakoram, published in 1990 by the Swiss Foundation for Alpine Research.

Latok I

Latok II

Latok III

Wala (1971)

7145 m

7108 m

6956 m

Bergamaschi (1977)

7086 m

7151 m

6860 m

Karakoram map (1990)

7145 m

7108 m

6949 m

The heights given correspond as follows: Latok I is the central peak of the group; Latok II, the western peak; and Latok III, the eastern peak. (See above sketch.) The triangulation results from Professor Bergamaschi’s expedition, which surveyed the peaks with Galileo and Salmoiraghi instruments, indicated the peak accepted as Latok II as the highest at 7151 meters. Based on these findings, Bergamaschi proposed that the designations for Latok I and Latok II be switched. He therefore called his the first ascent of “Latok I,” but the peak has continued to be called Latok II in most publications. The American Alpine Journal, while acknowledging Professor Bergamaschi’s work, will continue to refer to the Latok group by its designation in the 1990 Swiss Foundation for Alpine Research Karakoram map. The 1997 ascents of Latok II were thus the second and third ascents of the mountain.

We are indebted to Professor Bergamaschi, who has been kind enough to supply us with both a map that clarifies the results of their triangulations and a photo that shows his team’s original route.

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