American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Asia, Pakistan, Baltoro Muztagh, Baltor Muztagh - Other, Broad Peak, Southwest Face

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

Broad Peak, southwest face. At 11:30 a.m. on July 25 Sergey Samoilov and Denis Urubko from Kazakhstan stepped onto the summit of Broad Peak (8,047m) after a remarkable ascent of the previously unclimbed southwest face. The two climbed the 2,500m route alpine-style, in six days. On the lower part of the face they had to overcome two steep rock bands, the first at ca. 6,300m and the second above 6,550m. These gave difficulties up to F6b and A2, with an M5 finish. They avoided freshly laden snow slopes higher up by climbing rock ribs, which involved a section of M6+ at over 7,400m. Reaching the southeast ridge at 7,950m also involved tricky mixed terrain (M4+), and the pair then had to battle strong winds before traversing the summit and descending the Normal Route. The full story of this ascent, which was nominated for the Piolet d’Or, appears earlier in this Journal.

Central Kharut Peak, attempt. I led a commercially organized expedition for Adventure Peaks to attempt the unclimbed Central Kharut Peak (6,824m on the new Polish map). The mountain is believed to have been attempted only once before. A Japanese party climbed to the col between Central Kharut and the virgin Kharut Pyramid (6,402m on the Polish map), then reached a high point on the rocky shoulder of the ridge above. [The Kharut peaks lie immediately northeast of K2’s Abruzzi Ridge. In 1974 Tatsuro Arioka’s expedition, which was trying to climb Broad Peak North, reached the Sella Pass, from where two members, Hidenori Iwamot and Isumi Kita, climbed a peak immediately to the northwest, the height of which they gave as 6,394m. This is most likely Central Kharut South, the rocky shoulder on the southwest ridge of Central Kharut, now assigned the height of 6,455m on the new Polish map—Ed.]

Our expedition planned to camp on the Sella Pass and first climb Kharut Pyramid, to aid our acclimatization, but conditions were not good. There was a considerable amount of snow left from the winter (no one summited neighboring K2), and unstable weather did not improve the situation. From base camp we could see that the snow slope leading to the col was covered with avalanche debris, while the glacier approach [up the West Kharut Glacier—Ed.] was seriously crevassed. A client and one of our high-altitude porters had to be extracted from slots. However, our main problem was time, or lack of it. We had experienced long delays in both Islamabad and Skardu due to administrative work at the Ministry, a holiday period when the Ministry was shut, and unexpected military briefings in Skardu. When we eventually arrived at the mountain, there was not enough time to make a serious attempt, and our high point was on the approach glacier. We had reliable weather reports at base camp, and when a good window was finally forecast, we made our escape over the Gondokoro La, rather than take the long trek out via the Baltoro. Adventure Peaks hopes to return in July-August 2006.

Nick Carter, United Kingdom

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