Asia, Pakistan, Nangma Valley, Logmun Tower, North Face, Inshallah Mi Primo
Logmun Tower, north face, Inshallah Mi Primo. Logmun Tower stands close to the standard base camp in the Nangma Valley. It is the middle of three impressive north-facing granite towers that have also been referred to as Roungkhanchan (or Roun Khan Chan, peak of many graves) I, II and III or the Green Wall. [The north face of Roungkhanchan I (ca 4,600m) was climbed, probably for the first time, in 2004 by three Italians to give Troubles, Cough, and Fever (14 pitches, 6b+ Al, AAJ 2005, p. 363). The sheer north side of the middle tower was also climbed in 2004 by Frenchmen Frédéric Hasbani and Marco Vanpé. Their 600m route climbed directly up the north face, finishing with a few pitches on the east face. They named the sustained but never extreme route Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance (VI 6b+ A3). The French referred to this tower as Roungkhanchan III. Its height is ca 4,700m. —Ed.]
Our three-man Basque-Aragonese expedition was one of the first to arrive in Pakistan during 2006 and reached base camp at 3,900m in the Nangma Valley on June 5. We were Dani Ascaso, Gorka Díaz, and I. We had no fixed plans, except to try one of those arêtes that you see in the photos and make you say, “That’s the line!” However, our dream was shattered when continuous rockfall showed the reality to be different. During acclimatization we inspected many walls and eventually decided on the Logmun Tower. The only information we had was of the French route. We looked for other possible lines, and in another attractive crack system discovered signs of previous passage. We now think there were two or three established routes on this wall before our arrival. [Two routes were climbed by Americans in 2001, prior to an unsuccessful attempt on Shingu Charpa, see below]. In the end we opted for the elegant north pillar, direct and attractive. Steep crack systems promised long sections of free climbing.
We took 13 days to climb the wall. We spent the first four fixing four pitches (200m) and establishing a portaledge camp. We then climbed capsule style from June 18-26, with Camp 2 at 450m and Camp 3 at 570m. The climbing was sustained without being extreme. The weather was good throughout this period, but we only took food and water for five days, and moving camp required a whole day. However, the day after we finished our water, we came across a snowpatch, which prevented us from having to descend. From the ground wed underestimated the size of the face. The pillar gets little sun, but near the top we made two pendulums to gain the northeast face, which we felt offered faster ground to the top and also got more sun. We hauled our equipment to the top of pitch 16, left it, and climbed the 17th and final pitch at night. From the top we made a three-hour descent on foot to base camp.
After eating and sleeping for two days, we went to retrieve gear and the following day went to the summit, rescued our gear, and brought everything back to base camp. We named the route Inshallah Mi Primo (850m of climbing, A3 6a), in honor of our cook at base camp.
Most of the cracks were dirty, but during our ascent we found traces of previous passage: bolt belays halfway up pitch two and 10m to the left of the third pitch, another bolt on pitch six, and other material on pitches 10, 11, and 12, though nothing above. However, from this evidence we still believe much of our climb was new.
JonatÁn Larrañaga, Spain.