Spantik, new route on northwest face. Koreans Kim Hyung-il, Kim Pal-bong, and Min Jun- young completed a new route on the northwest face of Spantik (7,027m) in mid-July. The Korean route, which they graded VI WI4 M8, ascends steep snow to a difficult band of rock and mixed climbing near the top of the face, right of the famed Golden Pillar. The climbers spent five days on the face, from July 8 to 12, and needed another two days to climb to the summit via the gentle southwest ridge and descend to base camp.
This is believed to be the first alpine-style new route by Koreans on a peak taller than 7,000m; the climbers carried just two 100m ropes and left only two snow pickets on the mountain. A full report on their ascent may be found earlier in this Journal.
Japanese climbers Kazuaki Amano, Fumitaka Ichimura, and Yusuke Sato repeated the British route (Fowler-Saunders, 1987) on the Golden Pillar of Spantik, reaching the summit on July 12, one day before the Koreans. Both parties descended via the prominent snow and ice buttress far to the right of the pillar.