Asia, India, East Karakoram, Saser Kangri II (7,518m), Southwest Face
Saser Kangri II (7,518m), southwest face. Americans Mark Richey, Steve Swenson, and Freddie Wilkinson made the first ascent of the world’s second highest unclimbed independent mountain (attempts on the highest, Gangkar Puensum in Bhutan, are banned). Saser Kangri II is also the second highest peak to receive its first ascent in true alpine style. The three climbed the southwest face by a route named The Old Breed (1,700m, WI4 M3), with the crux close to 7,000m. The ascent was awarded a 2012 Piolet d’Or, and an account of this and their other climbs in the area appears earlier in the Journal.