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Asia, Pakistan, Karakoram, Batura Muztagh, Beka Brakai Chhok, Attempt; Wahine (5,820m), First Ascent

Beka Brakai Chhok, attempt; Wahine (5,820m), first ascent. In June and July 2007, Lydia Bradey and I attempted the first ascent of Beka Brakai Chhok (6,940m) in the Batura massif. Arriving in Pakistan in early June, we spent four days walking into our base camp, situated at the head of the Baltar Glacier. We were accompanied by a cook (Javed), liaison officer/guide (Shulkar Allah Baig), and 35 porters.

By June 25 we had established three camps on Beka Brakai Chhok’s south face, the highest on a col at 5,200m. This entailed a lot of moraine bashing and at times less than ideal snow. On June 28 Lydia and I left for our summit attempt. On July 3, after establishing two more camps, we reached a high point at ca 6,000m on a ridgeline beneath a 250m rock buttress. The climbing to that point had involved stretches of deep, unconsolidated snow, steep rock, and ice. We pitched most of the ground between camps 3 and 5, at times hauling the packs. Tent sites for camps 3 and 4 were on steep snow arêtes requiring some digging, but Camp 5 was atop a spacious ice blob attached to the main southeast ridge. At this point we realized we did not have the resources to reach the summit, so we descended to base camp over the next three days.

We were fortunate to share base camp with Italian climbers Lorenzo and Giampaolo Corona, who were also unable to climb their chosen peak. The two teams combined and made the first ascent of a 5,820m peak above the West Baltar Glacier, southwest of Dariyo Sar. We named the peak Wahine. From a camp at ca 5,000m on the glacier, we reached the summit of Wahine in eight hours on July 10. The climbing was predominantly steep ice and snow with some rock. We took six hours to descend.

Pat Deavoll, New Zealand