American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Asia, Pakistan, Himalaya, Ghujerab Muztagh, "Boe Sar" (ca.5,700m) and "Shah Izat Peak" (ca. 5,700m), First Ascents

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 2006

“Boe Sar” (ca. 5,700m) and “Shah Izat Peak” (ca. 5,700m), first ascents. These two easy summits are located in the Ghujerab Muztagh, the range between the Shimshal and Ghujerab rivers [referred to as the Karun Koh group on the Miyamori Japanese maps—Ed.]. They lie close to the Boesam pass on the main route from Shimshal to the Ghujerab Valley and on toward the Khunjerab Pass, where the Karakoram Highway crosses the Chinese border.

With my friend Abdullah Bai, a Shimshal resident, teacher, and trekking guide, I reached the Boesam after a walk of two days from Shimshal village. We had help from a young porter, Abdul Mohamed, and also from the village. We established a comfortable camp near the lake situated just behind the ca. 4,800m pass.

Our initial goal was the first summit northeast of the pass. We climbed it in five hours on August 23. It was an easy, pleasant ascent on snow, with just three crevasses to cross (Alpine F, 900m of vertical gain on slopes of 35° maximum). Abdul Mohamed roped up with us and managed the climb without crampons. We descended our route and named the peak “Boe Sar” (in local dialect sar is summit, while sam is pass).

On the 24th Abdullah and I climbed the first summit northwest of the pass. We found an easy route horizontally across the glacier to the west of the pass, then walked up the little glacier falling from the summit. After crossing the bergschrund and climbing a 45° snow slope for 200m, we reached the upper section of the summit ridge, followed it north, then northwest, and gained the highest point after five-and-a-half hours of climbing. The final section of ridge was easy but offered a gorgeous view of most of the Karakoram, from Rakaposhi in the east to K2 far away in the west. The altitude was ca. 5,700m, similar to Boe Sar, and the route PD. Abdullah said it was “the most beautiful day of my life.” We called this easy peak “Shah Izat Peak,” after Ghulam Ali Shah and Izat Mohamad, two Shim-shal porters who in 2001 crossed the Boesam with us, before being killed in an avalanche a few days later near the Chapchingol Pass. No one in Shimshal had heard of these peaks being climbed before, though according to some porters Sar had been attempted.

We believe these two summits could become classic trekking peaks. The campsite near the lake is perfect and the views from the peaks fascinating. Shimshal village can now be reached by jeep, only three hours and some rupees with the daily collective taxi from Passu on the Karakaram Highway. It is not necessary to buy a permit, and the three-stage walk from Shimshal to the Boesam is easy and beautiful (this pass is an easy deviation from the classic trek to the Shimshal Pass).

François Carrel (fcarrel@club.fr), France.

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