American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Igls Peak

Pakistan, Karakoram, Ghujerab Mountains

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Author: Stephan Tischler
  • Climb Year: 2014
  • Publication Year: 2015

In August, before making a rare south-to-north crossing of Chapchingol Pass, an expedition of mountaineers from Austria and Pakistan visited the Ghidims Valley to attempt an unclimbed and unnamed summit clearly visible from the upper valley and Yahya Camp (4,400m). Starting from Shimshal at the end of an extraordinary Jeep road in the heart of the mountains, we took three days to reach base camp in the Ghidims Valley via a crossing of Boesam Pass. After exploring possible routes to the summit we decided to climb up into the high, glaciated valley rising to the west of Dosti Sar (6,063m, see AAJ 2014) and leading to North Ghidims Pass (a.k.a Akalik Pass). On the way we passed four old cairns marking the ancient trekking route over the rarely crossed pass. We made our high camp at 5,250m.

Early on August 23 we set out for the summit. Due to heavy snowfall a few days earlier it was difficult finding our way through the steep labyrinth of snow and ice. Close to the top we needed to place several screws to cross a large ridge of ice. Above, Christian Müller (Austria), Rahim Hayat and Naseer Uddin (both Pakistan), and I climbed more easily to the summit, where we were rewarded with an incredible panorama.

During our ascent we were watched by two eagles. However, there are many "eagle peaks," so we decided to call this one Igls Peak. Igls is the hometown of the two Austrians and in German is pronounced very similar to eagle. With our GPS devices we fixed the altitude at 6,014m, and the location at 36°41'26.64"N, 75°31'58.26"E. [This peak is marked 5,932m on Jerzy Wala's 2011 sketch map and lies across the glacier northwest from Dosti Sar.] After many pictures we started our long descent to high camp and then continued down to base camp. The weather changed dramatically next day, covering the whole area with rain and snow. However, that in no way diminished our satisfaction during the long trek back to the Karakoram Highway.

Stephan Tischler, Austria

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