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Asia, Pakistan, Karakoram, Hispar Muztagh, CAC Sar, First Ascent; Corean Sar, First Ascent to West Summit; Khani Basa Sar, Attempt

CAC Sar, first ascent; Corean Sar, first ascent to west summit; Khani Basa Sar, attempt. A four-man expedition from the Corean Alpine Club led by Yoo Hak-jae spent July 18 to August 30 in Pakistan; the other climbers were Kim Dong-kyu, Kang Tae-won, and Cha Kyoung-ryoul. The expedition’s goals were Gloster Peak (ca 5,962m) and Khani Basa Sar (6,500m), but permit problems and other issues led them to change plans. After arriving at base camp (4,445m) on the Hispar Glacier, they approached up the Khani Basa Glacier to reach the east side of a peak they believed from inaccurate publications and statements by their cook to be Khani Basa Sar. Starting up a 500m ice couloir at midday, they experienced serious rockfall but reached the south ridge unscathed at 2 a.m. After a few hours of sleep at 5,370m, they continued up the rocky ridge to a second bivy, at 5,840m, and carried on to the summit the next morning. Their GPS said 5,942m—about 500m lower than Khani Basa Sar. They called their peak CAC Sar. After another bivouac at the saddle, they rappelled the couloir, cached gear for their next climb, and returned to base camp.

After three days of rest, on August 7 the team began their attempt on another unnamed 6,000m peak, north of CAC Sar and south of Khani Basa Sar. After crossing a dangerous icefall below the south ridge, they bivouacked and then climbed rock alongside a 300m ice couloir to

reach a saddle on the ridge. Above this, 12 pitches of mixed and rock climbing with 100m ropes took them to the west summit of the mountain they called Corean Sar (6,000m); the highest summit of this formation is the northeast peak. They descended all night to reach their high camp and returned to base camp later that day.

Calls to Korea for research led the team to conclude they still had not climbed Khani Basa Sar, so the climbers laid new plans despite deteriorating weather. From August 14 to 17 they attempted the east face and south ridge of Khani Basa Sar, reaching 6,100m in midafternoon on the 17th. In poor weather, and without enough gear to descend their route, they descended to the East Yutmaru Glacier, from which they struggled through heavy snowfall to return to base camp, 25km away.

The Corean Alpine Club has a five-year plan to climb 6,000m peaks around the Hispar and Biafo glaciers.

Christine Pae, Korean Alpine Federation