American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Baintha Brakk (Ogre), Attempt via Southeast Face and Southeast Ridge; HAR Pinnacle and Baintha Kabata, Ascents

Pakistan, Karakoram, Panmah Muztagh

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Author: Aymeric Clouet
  • Climb Year: 2009
  • Publication Year: 2010

Julien Dusserre, Jérôme Para, and I established base camp at 4,600m on the Choktoi Glacier. On August 25, for acclimatization, we climbed a possible new route on the west face of HAR Pinnacle (5,490m), leaving base camp at 7 a.m. and returning at 9 p.m. Our route, Ruby Eternelle (400m, 6b), may share ground with the Menard-Turgeon line of 2006. From August 29 to September 1 we climbed a 1,200m mixed line up the southeast arête of a ca 6,300m peak at the head of the Choktoi that we believed to be unclimbed. We had two days of bad weather during the four-day climb and found beautiful pitches of climbing up to 6a+ I5 M4. After returning home, we learned we had repeated the route climbed by Colin Haley and Maxime Turgeon in 2008 (in much better weather!); they called the peak Baintha Kabata.

After six days of poor weather, we began an attempt on Baintha Brakk (the Ogre, 7,285m), with a forecast for a week of good weather. We skied to the foot of the peak on September 8 and bivouacked there at just under 5,000m. After studying the conditions, we decided to avoid the serious objective dangers on the approach to the southeast ridge and instead started up the southeast face. Two days of climbing on steep mixed ground brought us to 6,250m on the east ridge, at the base of a steep rock headwall. From there, we traversed horizontally to the left toward the southeast ridge, following mixed terrain, with a pitch of exposed rock climbing. After a bivouac at 6,500m, we climbed snow and ice to the foot of the final tower at ca 6,800m. The weather was rapidly deteriorating, and in the morning it was impossible to climb. We descended the southeast ridge in high wind, making 20 rappels, and bivouacked a final time near the saddle between Ogre I and II. The next day we descended the icefall and returned to base camp.

Aymeric Clouet, France

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