American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Shaltar Peak, North Spur and Northwest Ridge

Pakistan, Karakoram, Malubiting Group

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Author: Peter Thompson
  • Climb Year: 1989
  • Publication Year: 2017

This climb was previously unreported in the AAJ. In July 1989, I walked alone from Hopar village along the east side of the Bualtar Glacier, and then climbed steeply up a side valley. Two days from Hopar, I reached a bivouac at 4,477m (36.162103°N, 74.789796°E) in a cirque beneath Shaltar Peak. I was hoping to attempt this mountain, but bad weather forced me to return to Hopar the next day, leaving some gear at the bivouac.

The first ascent of Shaltar Peak (5,982m on Swiss and Japanese maps, 5,730m and 5,726m on Russian and Google Earth, respectively; 36.1444365°N, 74.786682°E) is known to have taken place in 1987 or ’88, by a British team that approached from the Barpu Glacier to the east and made one camp on the mountain. [Editor’s note: In 1986, a British military expedition, approaching from the Barpu Glacier, climbed up the Koro Glacier and reached the summit of Peak 5,852m from the col between it and Shaltar to the north (see AAJ 1987). They named this summit Cavalry Peak. In June 1987, three British climbers, Dai Bowman, Martin Hignell, and Dave Wright repeated the ascent of Cavalry Peak and then followed the ridge north to a “ca 5,900m” summit they called Mongouo. Shaltar Peak is the name given by locals, and is a well-known mountain, being visible from Karimabad and surroundings.]

A few days later I returned to the bivouac, again without porters, with Kees Dykwell (Holland), whom I had met in Karimabad. We climbed a couloir to join the north spur, which we followed to the upper northwest ridge and then the summit. The difficulty was PD, and we bivouacked during the descent.

Peter Thompson, Alpine Club, U.K.

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