Four first ascents in the Ganj’dur (Ganj-i-Tang) Valley. Before meeting Yannick Graziani to make the first ascent of Pumari Chhish South (featured in this Journal), Christian Trommsdorff led a small group of experienced clients to Pakistan’s Shimshal region. Hoping to profit from spring snow conditions for first ascents and ski descents, the team visited Pakistan from April 21 to May 7. However, locals said the winter had been relatively dry and spring was about a month earlier than usual. The valley floors were almost completely dry, and the snowline was generally higher than 4,500m.
After hiring 20 porters in Shimshal, Bruno Dupety, Sylvain Granaud, Bruno Paulet, Philippe Yvon, and Trommsdorff made a two-day walk, first east along the main valley and then north to a base camp at 4,350m in the Ganj’dur (Ganj-i-Tang) Valley.
In six days the team made four first ascents of large peaks. They measured the first, due west of base camp, with GPS at 5,882m, but the summit was a large cornice and the team stopped 10m below the highest point. The second, northeast of camp, had a rocky top measured at 5,892m. Only Trommsdorff reached the summit of the third peak, due north; he recorded a height of 6,050m on his altimeter. The fourth peak, immediately southeast of base, they dubbed Papy’s Peak (5,544m measured by GPS).
Temperatures during the trip were mild at around -5°C at night. The lowest height at which the climbers donned skis and skins was 4,700m, and here the snow was extremely heavy and mushy, even in early morning.
The team completed the expedition by trekking back to Shimshal in one long and strenuous day.
Lindsay Griffin, Mountain-INFO Editor, adapted from www.Alpinist.com