American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Malika Parbat North (5,222m), north ridge ascents

Pakistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Kaghan Valley

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Author: Lindsay Griffin
  • Climb Year: 2012
  • Publication Year: 2014

Malika Parbat (5,290m) is the highest peak in the Kaghan Valley, an area considered save for both local and foreign tourists. The highest (south) summit was probably first climbed by British Army officers Willoughby and Price in 1940 and again, via a new route up the west face in 1972, by Frieder Hoflin and Wolfgang Stefan (Austria). A third ascent of the south peak is reported in 1998 by Pakistanis Omer Aziz and Rashid Butt, but sadly Butt died during the the descent.

The north summit was reportedly climbed by a group of Gurkhas in 1920. While this might be correct, it was certainly climbed by Englishman Trevor Braham's expedition in 1967. Norman Norris and Gene White reached the top via an approach up the Chitta Glacier to the northeast. They climbed to a col on the north ridge, and then seemingly crossed it to ascend the northwest slopes direct to the summit. While Norris thought he could traverse the nearly one-kilometer connecting ridge to the higher south top, White declined and the two descended.

There appears to be no record of another ascent of this summit until July 27, 2012, when Imran Junaidi from Islamabad and Jens Simensen (Denmark) reached the top via the north ridge. They too approached via the Chitta Glacier, but used the northwest flank to gain the crest of the north ridge (a section of snow at 70-75°), which they followed to the top. A similar line was followed on August 31, 2012, when Ahmed Mujtaba and Ahmed Naveed reached the summit after an open bivouac at ca 5,180m.

These are examples of increasing numbers of Pakistani alpinists from the "lower regions," such as the capital Islamabad, taking on more technical climbs. In 2013 Junaidi, with fellow Islamabad resident Usman Tariq, made an unsuccessful attempt on Little Trango. As a consolation, the pair established a short rock route on the granite walls ca 200m southwest of Trango Lake. Much gardening was required, but the 110m route (four pitches) was completed at 5.10 A1 and named First Milestone.

From information supplied by Imran Junaidi, Pakistan

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