American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Shuijerab Group, Shuwert Valley, Banafsheh, South Face

Pakistan, Karakoram

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Author: Peter Thompson
  • Climb Year: 2018
  • Publication Year: 2019

On September 18, Philip De-Beger and I set up base camp at 4,864m (36.451221°N, 75.713064°E) at the entrance to the East Shuwert Valley, not far from Shimshal Pass. There was a fair amount of snow, but this cleared over the next few days as we set up an advanced base in the East Shuwert Valley. On the 22nd we made an ascent of Peak 6,040m (36.462939°N, 75.750659°E, altitude from the Jerzy Wala and Soviet maps), which is the highest in the East Shuwert Valley. Our route on the south face was on snow slopes at alpine PD. This was probably the first ascent of the peak. Our Shimshali guide later suggested the name Banafsheh Sar, which means Violet Peak, after a flower that grows in the area.

Various ascents in the Shuwert Valley have been recorded. In 2002 a Japanese team climbed Mingling Sar (6,034m) from Shimshal Pass. In 2007 a Japanese/Pakistani team climbed Shuwert Sar (6,152m) from the East Shuijerab Glacier. Jerzy Wala’s 2014 map indicates that in 2000 a Spanish expedition climbed Yaz Sar (6,152m) and Tarin Sar (5,861m), approaching from the East Shuijerab Glacier (see note below). I believe Yaz Sar could be same peak as Shuwert Sar.

– Peter Thompson, Alpine Club, U.K.

Historical Ascents in Shuwert Glacier Area: In July 2000 (previously unreported in the AAJ), Susana Elosegi, Koke Lasa, and Luis Lopez (Spain) established an advanced base on the Shuwert Glacier to the southeast of Peak 6,152m. Subsequently they climbed a couloir on the south flank (40–65°) to reach the crest of the southeast ridge, and then followed this (55°) to the summit, naming it Yaz Sar. Lasa and Lopez then climbed a fine icy pyramid southwest of advanced base, following northeast-facing slopes (35–65°) to the top and naming the peak Tarin Sar (5,861m). Prior to this, Elosegi and Lasa had visited the Shuijerab Valley and climbed two summits: Rui Peak (5,650m, an easy glacier ascent) and Dest Sar (6,050m, 45–60° slopes followed by a narrow ridge), possibly the highest peak in that valley.

As reported in AAJ 2008, Wataru Takasaki (Japan) and Raheem (Pakistan) made two camps on the East Shuijerab Glacier before climbing west-facing slopes to reach the Shuijerab-Shuwert divide north of Peak 6,152m. They then followed the crest south through deep snow to the summit. As Peter Thompson suggests above, this information points to the Spanish and Japanese climbing the same peak.

Mingling Sar (often referred to as Minglik Sar, and sometimes Manglik Sar, Mungalig Sar, or even Lupjoi Sar) is a popular nontechnical peak that most likely was first climbed in the 1980s.

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