Batura II (7,762m), south face, attempt; probable second ascent of Ya Chish, probable fourth ascent of Batokshi. Batura II is one of the highest unclimbed points in the Karakoram, though its south face was attempted by a German team in 2002. They followed the same route as the 1976 German expedition that made the first ascent of neighbouring Batura I (7,786m), moved left on the upper slopes, and eventually abandoned their attempt in bad snow conditions at 7,100m. Simone Moro (Italy) and Joby Ogwyn (U.S.) made an attempt in July last year. Ogwyn was delayed by visa problems and Moro went ahead, setting up base camp at ca. 4,100m on the Baltar Glacier (higher than the German base camp). He climbed to a foresummit of Ya Chish (5,130m; the cornerstone between the North and Eastern Baltar Glacier) to view the route and decided to follow the 2002 German line up the right side of the glacier that flows down from the summit of Batokshi Peak on the right flank of its west ridge. Ogwyn arrived, and the pair made the probable second ascent of Ya Chish (first climbed by the 1976 German team). On July 8 the pair climbed the glacier on Baktoshi, reached its west ridge, and placed a camp at 5,900m, not far below the summit. The following day they reached the 6,050m top, for the probable fourth ascent. The first ascent was also made in 1976 by the Germans. During the descent to base they took a different line. There was a lot of downclimbing on front points and sections of high avalanche danger. Moro, who was faster, went ahead and was relaxing in base camp when he got a call from Ogwyn over the radio. Ogwyn had been hit by an avalanche and thought his ankle was broken. Moro, his cook, and the cook’s assistant went to the rescue and helped Ogwyn down the moraine to base camp, from where he and Moro were evacuated the following day by helicopter.
Lindsay Griffin, Mountain INFO, CLIMB Magazine