Drifika and Kapura, attempts. A six man Dutch team comprising Fedor Broekhoven, Coenradd Doeser, Wouter Dorigo, Bas Henzing, Martin Jongmans, and I were unsuccessful in our main objective, 6544m Kapura, south of the Charakusa Glacier. This beautiful unclimbed rock and ice pyramid lies immediately west of 7281m K6 and had received no previous official attempt. We tried the west flank and northwest ridge, finding the climbing overall to be approximately Alpine AD with ice up to 60 degrees and one rock passage of IV/V. We were stopped at ca 5800m by very deep and unstable snow. However, we did manage to attempt other peaks in the area, achieving moderate success.
We tried nearby Drifika (6446m) by several lines. Two attempts were made to climb the long southeast ridge in its entirety but this proved too time-consuming. There was a rock overhang of IV/V and ice up to 65 degrees. At the beginning of the ridge we climbed a small top, which we christened Pic Caro (ca 5800m). We then tried to bypass much of the lower ridge by climbing a 600-meter couloir up the left side of the east face (TD: ice to 80 degrees and mixed Scottish II) to gain the upper southeast ridge at 6100m. However, once on the crest desperate snow conditions halted any further progress above 6200m. The Original Route up the north ridge was also attempted but again dangerous snow conditions forced a retreat.
Prior to our attempt on Kapura we managed to climb an unnamed 5800m top that stands just south of Poro (6295m). The ascent was made via the south face and southwest ridge (D: ice to 55 degrees and rock to IV+) and the peak christened Minka. We also repeated the 1988 British Route (Bunnage/Hamilton) on the north ridge of Nazar Brakk (ca 5300m), climbing the original aid section free at F6a using only natural gear. This route has now become quite popular and something of a classic of the Charakusa. It was also climbed by Canadian (see above) and Italian parties while we were in the valley.
Bart Hersmus, Holland