Miyar Nala, Toro Peak, Toro Ridge; Korklum Gou (Window Peak), Shangrila Ridge; Premsingh Peak, Trident Ridge; Castle Peak, south face, David’s 62 Nose tower, Lufoo Lam. My wife Tanja and I took the public bus to Tingrit, a small village at the end of the road. After a two-day approach on foot, with two horses for our stuff, we came to base camp under Castle Peak in a mix of rain and snow. Over the next three weeks we had much unstable and bad weather, but also two nice spells. On September 16 we climbed the east ridge of a rounded mountain we called Toro Peak (ca 4,850m) for acclimatization. We called our route Toro Ridge (300m vertical, 450m long, V+). The peak had already been climbed, and could even be hiked up.
We went for another acclimatization climb after a day of rest. We made an afternoon approach to the base of the mountain and made a brief bivouac under a boulder. During the night we climbed 500 meters of a loose gully and, with the first sun, started climbing maybe the most aesthetic peak in the area. A perfect right- angle ridge led to the summit, with a huge window below an arch of rock that formed the top of the peak. After 500 meters of climbing, we were surprised by old slings, as we thought we were climbing an untouched line. A bit sad, we continued. The last pitch to the arch was seriously rotten and loose and was the crux. In early afternoon, we happily lifted our hands on a perfect summit. We were even happier when we didn't find rappel slings. After returning home, we read a new AAJ report about an unfinished attempt on more or less the same line, leading us to believe that we were the first people on this summit. So we named the peak Korklum Gou (Window Peak, ca 5,600m) and the route Shan-grila Ridge (600m, 900m long, VII R).
We then spent five rainy and snowy days in base camp with Slovak climbers Andy and Juraj. The temperature dropped significantly, and a lot of snow accumulated on the upper walls. After the weather improved we decided to move to the Tawa Glacier side valley, to an advanced base camp under Neverseen Tower. The approach to this ABC involved almost 1,000m of altitude gain, half of it wandering on an unstable glacial moraine. Fresh snow on moving and slippery stones made walking hard and dangerous. Even south-facing, steep walls like Neverseen were plastered with
snow. We stopped on the glacier to wait until the walls cleared of snow.
So as not to lose time in nice weather, we decided to climb a nice three-tower east ridge opposite our temporary camp. But it snowed all night, and we waited one more day for the ridge to dry. Then, on September 29, we climbed Trident Ridge (500m, 1,000m long, VII/VII+) on a virgin peak we called Premsingh Peak (ca 5,200m). Even in the sun it was cold for rock climbing, and it became clear that Neverseen was not a suitable option. With only a few days left, on October 1 we climbed our last route on the rock tower David’s 62 Nose (ca 4,950m) on Castle Peak’s south face. We called our route Lufoo Lam (Windy Way) (350m, 400m long, VII+). This tower had already been climbed, by Italians.
Climbing in this remote, uncrowded valley was a great adventure. It was nice to deal with hospitable local Buddhist people. The climbing itself was enjoyable because of the featured migmatite rock, which is something between granite and gneiss, and solider than it looks. We used only removable protection and left only a few rappel slings, to keep the area as adventurous as possible. We enjoyed our four new routes, on two virgin peaks, but our wish of climbing something on Neverseen remains a dream. I suggest that late summer is probably not the best time for rock climbing there because of low temperatures. There is still a lot worth exploring in this region.
Andrej Grmovsek, Slovenia