American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Asia, Pakistan, Karakoram, Batura Muztagh, Kampire Dior Grp., Pk. 6,928m, Previously Unreported Attempt

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 2007

Kampire Dior group, Pk. 6,928m, previously unreported attempt. Pk. 6,928m lies on the main east-west watershed separating the Yashkuk and Batura glacier basins, about 5km to the east of the major summit in this region, Kampire Dior (7,143m). The north side of the water-shed ridge is steep, crowned with cornices, and regularly swept by avalanches, leaving room for few possible lines. In particular, all routes leading directly to Kampire Dior, to Kampire Dior II to the east of it, and to the lower peaks to the west seem to be extremely dangerous. Farther east the main ridge turns left (north) for a few kilometers before curving east again. In this section it eases and features a small subsidiary ridge that leads down to the northeast branch of the Yashkuk Glacier.

Approach is made simple by a jeep road that goes up the Chapursan valley. When not washed away by mudslides, this road goes all the way to Afghanistan and is used by local people to reach Afghan and even Tadjik markets.

The goal of our 2005 expedition, which comprised Dima Berezin, Lena and Misha Lebedev, Alexei Panchenko, Yura Soyfer, and I, was to explore the region and to ascend, if possible, one of its peaks. We arrived in Islamabad on July 13, and our trek began from the bridge on the jeep road.

A week of reconnaissance convinced us that the far corner of the northeast branch of the Yashkuk Glacier provided the only objectively safe route to the main ridge, so we focused on it. The technical part of the route started from the upper cwm of this northeast branch, which is separated from the main glacier by an icefall.

We established Camp I above the icefall on July 21. Above, our route crossed the glacier toward the foot of the side ridge and climbed the crest right of seracs (80° maximum). We fixed 200m of rope on this section and on the 31st established Camp 2 in the middle part of the ridge. At that point the weather deteriorated, heavy snowfalls made the route dangerous, and we had to wait until August 6 before making our next attempt.

The ridge above Camp 2 is not steep; it terminates at a 400m-high snow/ice wall that leads to the crest of the main ridge. We fixed another 200m of rope on this wall and reached the crest on the 9th. Huge cornices overhung the Batura (east) side, so we were forced to dig our tent platform for Camp 3 out of the slope 50m down the west flank. The next day, we explored the ridge above, but a day later further progress was blocked by the next spell of the bad weather, which brought a lot of fresh snow and new avalanches on all slopes. We descended to base camp on August 12.

Lev Ioffe, New Jersey

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