Bondit Peak, First Ascent via Northeast Spur (Also, Amanat Brakk in Nangma Valley, First Ascent)
Pakistan, Karakoram, Masherbrum Range, Honboro Massif
The Hungarian National Alpine Team hoped to make first ascents from the Nangma and Hushe valleys. Viktor Agoston, Bence Kerekes, Marton Nagy, and Laszlo Szasz, on their first trip to the Karakoram, arrived in Pakistan on June 25 and reached K6 base camp at 4,000m in the Nangma Valley on the 28th.
After checking possibilities based on prevailing conditions and weather, all but Nagy made an acclimatization climb. The three ascended Peak 29 (approximately 35°21'30.06"N, 76°27'50.44"E) on the Wala map of the Tagas Mountains. This is one of the Lunkha peaks, lying on the ridge rising south from the Roungkhanchen group, and was accessed from close to the entrance to the South (Second) Nangma Glacier. From a bivouac at 4,800m, they reached the top on July 2 via the northeast face. Garmin inReach data showed the summit as 5,412m. They suggest this peak be named Amanat Brakk (after the son of their base camp cook), and their route Hungarian Dances (600m, D 5c 50°).
All four then turned their attention to a rock ridge at approximately 35°22'53.3"N, 76°28'32.0"E on the opposite (north) side of the Nangma Valley. Partway up, they found a piton and realized the ridge had been visited before. After 12 pitches up to 6c+ (or 6b A1), they were forced to retreat from around 5,000m in a rainstorm. [This broad, rounded, southwest-facing ridge lies below the main summit of Changui Tower and was climbed in 2005 by Jan Kuczera and Tomasz Polok (Poland). They named the small summit of the ridge Barasa and their route Moonlight Pillar (500m, 900m of climbing, UIAA VII). See AAJ 2006.]
After returning to Kande village in the Hushe Valley, the climbers waited out generally bad weather from July 5–17. After this period there was a fine weather window, and the team decided to attempt unclimbed Bondit Peak (5,984m GPS, 35°20’29.06”N, 76°16’27.59”E) at the head of the Bondit Glacier, west of Kande. It had been attempted previously by climbers from Ireland, New Zealand, and Japan (twice). Just a month previously, two Japanese climbers had retreated from around 5,900m. (See AAJs 2020 and 2022.)
The four Hungarians left Kande on the 17th, carrying all their equipment and taking no porters or staff. The first night they camped at 4,100m and the following day at 5,000m on the Bondit Glacier. On day three they moved to a high camp at 5,400m on the northeast spur of the peak, and at 12:45 p.m. on the 20th were standing on the summit in beautiful but hot weather. Their three GPS devices averaged an altitude of 5,984m.
After waiting four hours for the snow to refreeze, the four descended to their high camp, regaining it at 2 a.m. on the 21st, about 23 hours after setting out. After resting, they took a different route back to their 5,000m site due to worsening conditions on the glacier, and the next day were back in Kande.
The route—1,500m from setting foot on the glacier, and largely snow and ice—was graded TD WI4 80°. The approach up the heavily crevassed glacier was not without dangers and presented difficult route-finding. Avalanche danger was ever-present due to seracs on the peak’s hanging glacier. In all, it takes some commitment to climb this route.
— Laszlo Pinter, Hungarian Mountaineering and Sport Climbing Federation