Asia, Pakistan,Karakoram, Hispar Muztagh, Peak 6,920m, first ascent

Publication Year: 2004.

Peak 6,920m, first ascent. A four-man Russian team comprising Valeri Bagov, Ivan Dusharin, Viktor Kolesnichenko, and (Russian-American) Lev Yoffe, made the first ascent of the unnamed Pk 6,920m, which lies on or close to the watershed ridge between Pumari Chhish and Yutmaru Sar. The expedition approached up the Hispar Glacier and then turned north for a few hours up the Yutmaru Glacier to establish base camp on the east side. A huge ca 1,500-meter tall icefall blocks access to the Upper Yutmaru at around 6,000m and this had to be gained by a rather dangerous route to a flanking ridge. Placing two camps (5,600m and 6,300m), the team reached a point where it was possible to gain the upper glacier safely, but with a descent of close on 600m. They had hoped to be able to reach the top section of the upper Yazghil Glacier to the north of the divide and from then try either the unclimbed South Summit of Pumari Chhish (7,350m) to their west or Yutmaru Sar (7,330m) to their east. The latter has only been climbed once. In July 1980 a small Japanese party followed a similar route to that tried by the Russians last summer, first reaching the Upper Yutmaru Glacier, then ascending this to the west ridge of Yutmaru Sar, after which they crossed the top section of the Upper Yazghil Glacier and finally finished up the north ridge.

Unfortunately, the Russians decided at this point the amount of time left available to them was not enough to succeed with either project. Instead, they continued up the sharp ridge to a nameless summit of 6,920m (determined by GPS readings) and then withdrew to base camp. An application has been made to the Ministry of Tourism to call this peak United Russia.

Lindsay Griffin, U.K.

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