Pakistan Roundup: Who’s Doing What, and Where, This Summer

8000ers K2 Karakorum
Bowie & Hintsa's precariously perched Camp 1 on Broad Peak. Photo: Don Bowie

As teams converge on Pakistan, we’ve learned of more exciting plans for new routes and first ascents.

Tom Livingstone (who won a Piolet d’Or in 2019 for a new route to Latok I) has teamed up with Mathieu Maynadier for an attempt on remote Pumari Chhish (7,350m). Yannick Graziani and Christian Trommsdorff made the first and only ascent of this peak in 2007.

Graziani is also climbing and skiing in the Karakorum this summer, in the company of Patrick Wagnon and Helias Millerioux. Their goals remain unclear, but the team’s latest track some days ago places them in the mountains northeast of Rakaposhi. That day, Millerioux wrote they had enjoyed a perfect 1,300m ski descent.

The one route opened on Pumari Chhish, by Graziani and Tromsdoff in 2007. Photo: 4sport.ua

A French team of Jerome Sullivan, Victor Saucede, Jeremy Stagnetto, and Martin Elias plan to attempt the first ascent of K13/Dansam Peak (6,666m), a little-known mountain on the border with Indian Kashmir.

To the Gasherbrums

Skiers Boris Langensteina and Tiphaine Duperier of France are also back in the Greater Ranges this season. After an incomplete ski descent of Nanga Parbat in 2019, they are now eyeing the Gasherbrums, together with Aurelia Lanoe and Guillaume Pierrel. En route to Base Camp, the team has carved a number of lines in the Chitral area.

Gasherbrum I from the summit of Gasherbrum II. Photo: The Altitude Team

Serge Hardy of France will attempt a Broad Peak, GI, and GII triple-header, according to Montagnes magazine.

In a rather Gallic stunt, Philippe Genin, the so-called Summit Pianist, will assemble a small piano and play on top of GII. The artist has previously played atop several peaks in the Alps, the summit of Ama Dablam, and Camp 2 on Cho Oyu. He wants to “spread the energy of love and well-being throughout the Earth.” All right, then.

Italian mountain guide Marco Confortola will attempt Gasherbrum I (Hidden Peak), and a five-man team from the Catalonia region of Spain, led by Lluis Cortadellas, checked in from Islamabad today on their way to GI and GII.

“We managed to buy a last-minute plane ticket and here we are,” they wrote happily. The young climbers are fresh from training in Chamonix.

Catalonia’s Altitude Team in Islamabad today.

K2 and Broad Peak

Samina Baig and her all-Pakistani K2 team checked in from Skardu yesterday. Mirza Ali introduced five of his Shimshali Boys, in charge of fixing the ropes on K2 and already on their way to Base Camp. Jordi Tosas will lead them, assuming that he manages to board a plane to Pakistan on Monday. ”

My flights have been postponed twice so I am already running late,” he told ExplorersWeb. “We need to start fixing K2 asap, and I am afraid I will get to Base Camp rather short of acclimatization.” Tosas lives in Spain’s Pyrenees and trains every day, but the highest peak in that range, Mt. Aneto, is only 3,404m.

The rope-fixing team known as the Shimshali Boys, ready to tie up K2. From left, Saeed Karim, Ahmed Baig, Waqar Ali, Ishaq Ali, and Rizwan Dad. Photo: Mirza Ali

Meanwhile, two new names are confirmed for K2: Anne Bialek and Victor Sans.

On Broad Peak, Don Bowie and Lotta Hintsa are still in BC waiting out bad weather. Last week, they managed to set up Camp 1 on the best possible spot (there is not much room) while there was no one else on the mountain. At the time, they reported very good conditions. By now, other climbers should be joining them in Base Camp, including Pakistan’s Saeed Almemari.

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About the Author

Angela Benavides

Angela Benavides

Senior journalist, published author and communication consultant. Specialized on high-altitude mountaineering, with an interest for everything around the mountains: from economics to geopolitics. After five years exploring distant professional ranges, I returned to ExWeb BC in 2018. Feeling right at home since then!

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V. Alvarez
V. Alvarez
1 month ago

No estoy segura pero, ¿Saeed Almemari no es de Emiratos Árabes?

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All talk no game
All talk no game
1 month ago

People sure do love to talk the talk before a major expedition especially on K2. Let’s see how well the Shimshali boys fare.

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Daniel
Daniel
1 month ago

Ralf Dujmovits is at Biarchedi I.

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Marie
Marie
1 month ago

Thank you for all this information. Included in the article that I linked below is a really beautiful and inspiring video documentary on Jordi Tosas. Unfortunately, the parts in Spanish are not translated into English. Can somebody here please tell me if JT explains why he runs up the mountains instead of just climbing at a normal pace, or does anybody know why he does that? Because that’s the one thing I do not really understand. https://www.google.de/amp/s/www.sportalpen.com/salomon-tv-unbound.htm/amp

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Max Madera
Max Madera
1 month ago
Reply to  Marie

Hi Marie: JT is speaking Catalan, not Spanish (Castillian). I’m not the most proficient in Catalan but I guess I get most of what he is saying. JT talks about how he was blew out of his mind when he first met Kilian Jornet training, how we became part of KJ “Summits of my life”; how important (and grateful) it was for him to change all his schemes when he was almost 50; how he adapted the techniques he mastered during all the previous years for the new style… But I do not think that he gives any reason as… Read more »

Marie
Marie
1 month ago

More information on Mirza Ali’s K2 expedition is available in this recently published video: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=HPqmcBPQiiM

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