Climbing History of the Peaks of the 2024 Cutting Edge Grants. Part 2: Yashkuk Sar

Every spring for over a century, the American Alpine Club has announced the American expeditions that will receive a Cutting Edge Grant. The grant supports pure alpine-style projects to difficult, remote mountains.

This year features action on five peaks: Shivling, Yashkuk Sar, Jannu East, Ultar Sar, and Chiling II. This series looks at the climbing history of each peak. Earlier this week, we wrote about Shivling. Today, we continue with the unclimbed Yashkuk Sar.

Yashkuk Sar is located in Gilgit-Baltistan in northern Pakistan, close to the Afghan border. Because of its huge exploration potential, it is one of the most exciting places for mountaineering.

Yashkuk Sar I and II.

Yashkuk Sar I and II. Photo: Google Earth by


There are two peaks: 6,667m Yashkuk Sar I and 6,244m Yashkuk Sar II. It’s possible to reach the mountain from the north via the Yashkuk Yaz Glacier and the Chapursan Valley. On the other side of the range, the Karambar Glacier offers a different way in.

Past climbs

The Yashkuk Yaz Glacier lies at about 3,929m. According to Bruce Norman, it is smooth, straight, and rock-covered along its 20km length between the snout and the East and West Yashkuk Glaciers. These forks are mostly ice-covered, about five kilometers long, and ringed by 6,000m peaks.

The Yashkuk Yaz Glacier, Chapursan Valley.

The Yashkuk Yaz Glacier. Photo: Rizwan Saddique


The Karambar Glacier also leads to several interesting 6,000m peaks, including the highest in this area, 7,143m Kampire Dior. It is the only 7,000m peak here and was first climbed by a Japanese party in 1975.

Near Yashkuk Sar, there are several other technical peaks that have been attempted or climbed in the past, but the summit of Yashkuk Sar remains untouched.

In 2001, Australian climber Damien Gildea visited the area. That same year, Shigeru Masuyama of Japan and his porter, Sarfraz Khan, attempted to climb Zod Khon Peak at the extreme southwest corner of the West Yashkuk watershed.

In 2005, a Russian party attempted the northwest face of 7,016m Pamri Sar. One year later, in 2006, Bruce Normand and Markus Walter made four alpine-style first ascents in the Yashkuk area within eight days: 6,211m Nadim Sar, 5,800m Jahangar Sar, 6,186m Caboom Sar, and a 6,096m granite peak that they named Mamu Sar. They also attempted others.

Markus Walter on the summit ridge of Mamu Sar. Yashkuk Sar is behind.

Markus Walter on the summit ridge of Mamu Sar. Yashkuk Sar is behind. Photo: Bruce Normand

Permit problems

It’s not easy to get climbing permits for the area. In 2017, Tim Seers, James Lawson, and Will Smith tried to reach the Yashkuk Yaz Glacier, but their permit was denied at the last minute.

The main peak just right of centre is Yashkuk Sar II. Yashkuk Sar I is the higher peak to the right where we can only see the upper part.

The main peak just right of center is Yashkuk Sar II. Yashkuk Sar I is the higher peak to the right, only partially visible. Photo: Damien Gildea


This year, American climbers Dane Steadman, Cody Winckler, and August Franzen will attempt to make the first ascent of Yashkuk Sar from its north side with the support of a Cutting Edge Grant.

Yashkuk Sar I, NE.

Yashkuk Sar I. Photo: Rizwan Saddique

Kris Annapurna

KrisAnnapurna is a writer with ExplorersWeb.

Kris has been writing about history and tales in alpinism, news, mountaineering, and news updates in the Himalaya, Karakoram, etc., for the past year with ExplorersWeb. Prior to that, Kris worked as a real estate agent, interpreter, and translator in criminal law. Now based in Madrid, Spain, she was born and raised in Hungary.