Malubiting Central (7,260m), second ascent. On July 25 two Spanish climbers, Raul Magdaleno and Álvaro Novellón, made the second ascent of Malubiting Central. The Malubiting group is a complex of high and rarely visited summits on the watershed ridge west of Spantik and the only previous ascent of the Central Summit was on August 2 1975, when it was climbed by Japanese, Hedeke Atsumi, Kazuhiko Moro, Masahide Onodera, and Toshinori Takahashi. They made four camps and finished up the west face from the upper Barpu Plateau to the summit. The Spanish more or less followed the Japanese route (and the line taken by the 1997 Swiss expedition that made the second ascent of the neighboring—and higher—west top).
Last summer’s four-man Spanish expedition, led by Óscar Casero Vidal, approached via the traditional route, placed Camp I at 5,380m and fixed 300 meters of rope on the ice face below the Polan La. This proved a little dangerous and avalanche prone, with slopes between 45-60°. Camp 2 was placed on the La at around 5,840m. They then tried to get through a rock wall above but found their choice of line too threatened by seracs. At this stage one member had run out of time and was forced to descend. He was accompanied by a second member leaving only Magdaleno and Novellón to make a further attempt. This time the pair tackled the wall more directly with 100 meters of difficult climbing. Then, after camping out twice more (Camp 3 under a serac at 6,100m and Camp 4 at 6,400m on a small plateau), they reached the summit at 1:30 p.m., three days after setting out from Camp 2.
Lindsay Griffin, U.K.