First Ascents of the North and East Faces of K7 Central

Notching first ascents on the North and East Faces of K7 wasn’t enough for Priti and Jeff Wright. They also launched a nail-biting attempt on unclimbed K7 Central (6,858m).

The American couple came within 100m of the top before having to turn around when the crack that they were climbing petered out. Jeff Wright tried to force the issue but took two lead falls on steep, wet slabs in mountain boots. After this, they decided to go down.

The climbers graded the route 2,000m AI4+, M5 5.9 C2.

The perilous Central Couloir

They descended via the Central Couloir, a canyon with overhanging seracs 60m high, avalanche chutes, and endless crevasses barring the way.

Although they didn’t summit, they climbed a huge new route alpine-style on completely virgin terrain. They are now safely back in base camp.

The sharp peak of K7 Central, flanked by other giants. Photo: Jon Griffith

 

“We are the first to reach the K7 Central Main col and the first on the difficult and [still] unclimbed K7 Central,” they wrote on social media.

The most difficult sections were M5 and 5.11 above 6,500m, they said.

“For good reason, nobody has ever gone up or down this Central Couloir, but it allowed us to descend 2,000m of complex terrain back to base camp in a day,” they added.

The two self-styled “alpine vagabonds” reached their 4,360m base camp in the Charakusa Valley on June 20, after a difficult approach. Their last communication was on June 23, when they saw the sun for the first time since leaving Hushe. They then started their acclimatization.

K7 Central, marked with “C” and an arrow. Photo: Jon Griffith

 

Two years ago, they climbed K6 Central. This year, they received the American Alpine Club’s annual Cutting Edge grant for this project on K7 Central.

“We are really proud of our accomplishments on the mountain,” they said.

K7 Massif. Photo: 24th_Hour

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.