Hindu Kush: Georgian Trio Push on Unclimbed Saraghrar NW

Flying under the radar, Georgian climbers Archil Badriashvili, Baqar Gelashvili, and Giorgi Tepnadze have spent the last three weeks on the highly difficult Saraghrar NW. At 7,300m, it’s the only unclimbed summit remaining in the broad Saraghrar massif.

The three Georgians before setting off for the Hindu Kush. Photo: Terichmir Travels


The climbers arrived in Pakistan on August 16 and may already have started their summit push. While details are sketchy, the climber’s route follows steep, mainly rocky terrain. This may be similar to the line attempted by Jordi Pons of Spain in 1977 up a rocky spur. For those fond of old mountain movies, here is a documentary about that past attempt.

The rocky face of Saraghar, featuring the long spur attempted three times by Catalan teams. Screenshot from Jordi Pons’ 1977 video.


The team’s outfitter, Terichmir Travels, said that Saraghrar NW is “one of the highest and most difficult rock walls in the world…The technical difficulties of the wall do not decrease anywhere on this great buttress.”

Saraghrar’s highest point, and the fourth tallest summit in the Hindu Kush, is the NE summit, at 7,340m [according to Wikipedia, although other sources cite different altitudes]. An Italian team led by Fosco Mariani first climbed it in 1959 from the Niroghi Glacier.
The three Georgians currently on the mountain summited Nanga Parbat on a previous visit to Pakistan in 2019. But Badriashvili, Gelashvili, and Tepnadze prefer to seek out unclimbed peaks, such as Pangpoche I (6,620m) and Pangpoche II (6,504m) in the Manaslu region. They climbed both in fall 2019.
Last year, Badriashvili and Tepnadze opened a hard new route (1,700m, 6a/b, A4, UIAA VI/VII) on the NW face of Ushba in the Caucasus, as reported by Desnivel.