Alpine-Style Teams in Pakistan: Muchu Chhish, K2, K7, Pumari Chhish

A remarkable summer season has begun in Pakistan. In addition to the two teams heading for alpine-style climbs on K2 and Nanga Parbat, others are attempting new routes on difficult 7,000’ers. This week, we learned that the Czechs have returned for their fourth attempt on 7,453m Muchu Chhish in the Batura Muztagh range. It is the highest unclimbed peak in the world among those open to expeditions.

Once more into the breach

We don’t know details about the Czech team yet, although Radoslav Groh and Zdenek Hak are two members. Groh and Hak last combined for an impressive new route on Cholatse in the fall of 2023.

Muchu Chhish’s avalanche-prone slopes and seemingly endless summit ridge have resisted attempts by many elite teams over the years. Czech teams tried in 2020, 2021, and 2023, with a rotating cast of members every year.

Pavel Korinek, Pavel Bem, Radoslav Groh, and Tomas Petrecek were the last to attempt it last year. They almost made it. They made the summit ridge at 7,200m but couldn’t reach the 7,453m summit.

Very thin climbers at the base of Muchu Chhish

Muchu Chhish took the last gram of energy (and fat) from the Czech climbers last year. Left to right, Radoslav Groh, Pavel Bem, and Tomas Petrecek. Photo: Muchu Chhish 2023 Czech Expedition

French on Pumari Chhish

Some kilometers to the southeast of Muchu Chhish, Mathieu Maynadier, and the Ladevant brothers, all from France, have just reached base camp at the foot of Pumari Chhish, another of the season’s big goals.

They’ve placed a first cache on the glacier. Now, they will rest for a few days and acclimatize for three or four more days. They will need at least three weeks to reach the main, central summit of the 7,492m peak via a new route on the difficult south face.

karakoram peaks on Google maps

A map of the Karakoram shows some of the current expedition goals: the Batura range (with Muchu Chhish), Pumari Chhish, Baintha Brakk (The Ogre), and K2. Image: Google Maps

Quiet teams

We await news from David Klein and Marton Nagy of Hungary on their attempt on 7,403m Istor-o-Nal in the Hindu Kush near the Afghan border. It is Klein’s second try. Communications are difficult there, so we might not hear much from them.

Other teams in the area prefer to keep silent about their goals and usually only report if they succeed. For instance, some climbers will be on K7, a past destination for experts like Charles Dubouloz, Tom Livingstone, and Jeff and Priti Wright.

This year, Spain’s National Alpinists Team will attempt it, member Tasio Martín said on the Radio Aragon podcast. K7 lies southeast of K2, near the troubled border between Indian Kashmir and Pakistan.

A sea of peaks surrounding a glacier at sunrising, as seen from a tent's door.

From a bivouac on K7. Photo: Charles Dubouloz


Likewise, two of the American Alpine Club’s Cutting-Edge Grant recipients have set sights in Pakistan: Dane Steadman, Cody Winckler, and August Franzen will climb the north face of Yashkuk Sar (6,667m) in northern Pakistan. Ethan Berman has support to climb Ultar Sar (7,388m) in the Batura Muztagh range, but there is no info about the rest of the team.

Russians Ratmir Mukhametzyanov, Alexander Parfenov, and Alexey Sukharev, who aim to climb the north face of The Ogre (Baintha Brakk I), have not yet left. At last word, they were still scrambling to raise funds for the $34,000 expedition.

composite showing the six mountains in the story

Clockwise from top left: Pumari Chhish, Nanda Devi East, K7, Nanga Parbat, K2 West Face, Istor-O-Nal. Photos: The Himalayan Club, Kazuya Hiraide, Hussein Ahmed, Asif Meo, Jeff Wright, Mountainsoftravelphotos

8,000’ers in good style

Kayuya Hiraide and Kenro Nakajima, who want to climb the West Face of K2 via a new alpine-style route, are on their way along the Baltoro Glacier. They reached Paiju camp today.

Nakajima by a tent with an inflatable pad.

File image of Kenro Nakajima in the Karakoram. Photo: Ishii Sports


We’re also impatiently awaiting news from David Goettler and Mike Arnold about their alpine-style summit push on Nanga Parbat.

Angela Benavides

Angela Benavides graduated university in journalism and specializes in high-altitude mountaineering and expedition news. She has been writing about climbing and mountaineering, adventure and outdoor sports for 20+ years.

Prior to that, Angela Benavides spent time at/worked at a number of local and international media. She is also experienced in outdoor-sport consultancy for sponsoring corporations, press manager and communication executive, and a published author.