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Asia, Pakistan, Karakoram, Rakaposhi Range, Rakaposhi, Southwest Spur, Attempt; Neyzah Peak, First Ascent

Rakaposhi, southwest spur, attempt; Neyzah Peak, first ascent. In July our team of ten Catalans and one Basque traveled to Pakistan planning to climb Rakaposhi (7,788m). Conditions on the southwest spur, first climbed in 1958 by a British-Pakistani expedition, were not as we’d hoped. On the ice and mixed slopes leading to the spur, we were surprised by several rockfalls. After having equipped the mountain with 1,300m of fixed rope, we decided, at 6,000m, that it was too dangerous to continue.

For several days we had been admiring sunsets on a beautiful rocky pyramid that dominated the southeast side of the Kunti Glacier. Like the majority of the summits of the Kunti cirque, this prominent pyramid was unclimbed. An obvious spur ran up the mountain from the glacier to the summit, with a continuous northwest exposure. It inspired us to dream.

On August 1 Pep Permañé and I explored the viability of a line on the northwest spur. After four ropelengths on fairly solid rock, including some beautiful dihedrals (V+), we descended to base camp, having left three dynamic ropes fixed in the crux passages.

The next day before sunrise, Carles Figueres, Permañé, and I regained the high point and continued through 300m of easy rock (III-IV), several ropelengths through systems of ledges and dihedrals (V- and 6a), and 150m of easy climbing leading to the only possible bivouac spot. In the last rays of sunlight, Permañé and I fixed the next two ropelengths (V+) before descending to settle in “comfortably” for the night.

On August 3 Permañé and I continued the ascent, while Figures rested at the bivy ledge. After leaving the crest of the northwest spur, we entered a large amphitheater where six ropelengths of rock and mixed climbing (V to 6a) gained the snow arête leading to the summit. We spent the rest of the day descending to base camp, with some 20 rappels. At midnight we three rejoined the rest of the team to celebrate the opening of this new route. We propose the name Neyzah Peak (ca 5,788m; neyzah meaning “arrow” in Urdu), and the route is Guilleries (1,300m, ED- 6a, mixed).

JOSEP SOLÀ, Spain, (translated by Jeffrey Lea)