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Asia, Pakistan, Gordoghan Zom Attempt

Gordoghan Zom attempt. Our goal was to climb Buni Zom mountain (6,551m) in the Hindukush range of northwest Pakistan. The nearest access is from the village of Harchin, located about 120 km from Chitral, on the Gilgit road. Our expedition consisted of two Greek persons, Nikolas Kroupis and George Zardalidis. We spent 10 days in the mountains in July. Our two days trekking (14 km) started at Harchin (2,900m) and ended at the base camp (3,900m) in Kulakmali, a big plateau on the way to Phargam An pass. We used four porters to transport our equipment to the base camp. The path goes through Rahman and Phargam villages. We had an intermediate camp at 3,700m, where we found drinkable water at the beginning of the huge rocky slopes. We crossed the stream from Gordoghan glacier the next day early in the morning, because the stream flux increases due to ice melting during the day We spent the next three days in base camp attempting some ascents for acclimatization. The weather was rainy during the day and was snowing at night. There was a rocky wall about 100m high on the route to Buni Zom, in order to reach Khora Bohrt glacier. Pitons are necessary to climb this rocky wall; since we didn’t have pitons, we decided to climb another peak in the Buni Zom range, named Gordoghan Zom (6,240m). The peak is located east of the main Buni Zom peak, and so we approached it from the Gordoghan glacier. On July 12 we settled camp 1 (4,000m) near the stream which comes from Gordoghan glacier. Next day we reached Gordoghan glacier and settled our camp 2 (4,800m) near a lake. The peak was located northeast from the camp and was out of our sight. July 14 was the summit day. To reach Gordoghan Zom we recommend walking along the right side of the glacier. On the right there is an icy, thin and narrow gully that leads to the big slope that continues to the peak. Without the use of any ropes, we climbed the 40°–60° narrow gully on stiff ice. At about 5,300m there is an ideal place for an advanced camp, which we didn’t use, because the ascent of nearly 1,500m to the peak from camp 2 is exhausting. Climbing the snowcapped slope (40°–50°) we reached 6,100m at 15:00. There we had really wonderful glimpses of Buni Zom Main peak. The temperature there was about -10°C and the weather was getting worse, so we decided to turn back just a few meters below the summit. Late in the afternoon we arrived in our camp and passed there a very cold night. Next day, after five hours of walk we arrived to camp 1. On the last day of the expedition, we made the long trek from camp 1 to Harchin village. To our knowledge fewer than 10 expeditions have visited the Buni Zom area in the last 50 years, and the only record we can find of climbing on Gordoghan Zom concerns the first ascent in 1965 (AAJ 1966). We do not know if we followed the original route or a new line.

Nikolas Kroupis and George Zardalidis, Greece