(By Raheel Adnan) On July 20th, news arrived from Austria about an ascent that may well be rated amongst the finest climbs of the year. The home team of the Austrian-Swiss Expedition, reported that Hansjorg, Matthias and Simon made it to the top of Kunyang Chhish East (7400m) on July 19th, 2013.
The 7400m Kunyang Chhish East is a sub peak in Kunyang Chhish massif, Hispar Muztagh, Karakoram. Kunyang Chhish Main (7852m) is the 21st highest independent peak in the world, and was first ascended by a Polish team led by Andrzej Zawada in 1971. Despite several attempts, the East Peak remained unclimbed until now. In 2006, American duo Steve House and Vince Anderson had to turn back 300m short of the summit. "To the right was a massive cornice, to the left was steep and blank rock," wrote House, "with no real gear, bad rock, strong, cold winds, and tired bodies we turned around sometime between 2 and 3 p.m."
The 2400m Southwest Face of Kunyang Chhish East has widely been regarded as, “one of the great remaining problems in alpinism” and “a major Karakoram problem”.
On June 5th two friends, Austrian Hansjorg Auer and Swiss Simon Anthamatten, left for Islamabad to negotiate the massive wall of Kunyang Chhish East. Due to a thumb injury, it was feared that Hansjorg’s brother Matthias Auer may not be part of expedition, but by the mid of June he was on the way to Islamabad. Like their predecessors, they too acclimatized on Ice Cake Peak (6400m). In the last week of June, Hansjorg and Simon made first attempt to climb the face, but abrupt change in weather forced them to retreat from 7000m. Matthias wasn’t fully acclimatized by then to go for summit.
While details of the ascent are not available, as of now, it appears that Hansjorg Auer, Matthias Auer and Simon Anthamatten have 'solved' one of the great Karakoram problems, on July 19, 2013.
Based in Lahore, Pakistan, telecom engineer and mountaineering enthusiast Raheel Adnan is a reporter for ExplorersWeb's mountaineering sections. He shares regular updates on Twitter and runs his own blog at AltitudePakistan posting initiated climbing news from Himalaya and Karakoram.
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