Miyar Valley, upper glacier exploration and short new routes. A four-strong party from England and Scotland (Graham Little, Jim Lowther, Kevin Kelly, and myself) visited the Miyar Valley in May. The area offers large granite walls in a mountain setting. Various parties have been to the area since it first came to prominence after a visit by an Italian team in 1992. Most teams have established base camps at the snout of the Miyar Glacier and climbed in the adjacent valleys. Previous trips have given a variety of names to side glaciers that already have local names. We journeyed further up the Miyar Glacier to the junction with the Jangpar Glacier, which we explored and found to offer some impressive mountain big wall potential.
May seemed to be too early to attempt technical rock climbing, as ledges held much snow from an unseasonably late fall (the heaviest for 25 years), which was melting and flowing down the rock walls. We climbed two snow routes. On one, we dropped a pack after completing the difficult climbing; this forced a retreat short of the summit. We climbed three rock routes on slabs and spires nearer base camp. In brief:
Christina Peak, 5,420m (GL, JL May 14), by south face at PD. South face of Pt 5,960m (BD, KK), retreat from 5,800m after dropping a rucksack. Lammergier Spike 5350m (GL, JL May 22), Alpine D. First ascent of 600m+ rock route on slabs above Khai Got on east side of Miyar Nala (BD, KK), UIAA VI.
Many of the currently available maps of the Miyar Nala and the glacier area are generally small scale and often of poor quality. The sketch maps produced by the Slovenian and Italian expeditions, while useful, are often not topographically very accurate. Some of the heights claimed for climbed peaks are exaggerated.
There is also mounting confusion over the names of the glaciers that lie to the east of the Miyar Nala/Glacier. Dali Got below the snout of Miyar Glacier has been the site of several expedition base camps and as such is a useful reference point. The following names have been used, with our favored versions (which are often local names) given first, followed by alternatives.
Glaciers linking to the Miyar Glacier: Jangpar Glacier (no alternatives): the final glacier to join the Miyar Glacier (about 6 km above Dali Got at its snout). Glaciers not linking to the Miyar Glacier: Dali Glacier (Spaghetti Glacier, Thunder Glacier): lies directly above Dali Got. Chhudong Glacier (Tawa Glacier): lies just over 1 km down the valley from Dali Got. Takdung Glacier (Nameless Glacier): lies 4 km down the valley from Dali Got. Brian Davison, United Kingdom