Hiraide and Nakajima Summit Tirich Mir

They made it! Kazuya Hiraide and Kenro Nakajima summited Tirich Mir yesterday and have just returned safely to base camp. At 7,708m, Tirich Mir is the highest peak in the Hindu Kush.

The Japanese pair opened a new route on its north face. The climbers’ sponsor, Ishii Sports, confirmed that after summiting, they stopped for the night at their highest camp. They made it down to base camp today, exhausted but healthy. Nakajima mentioned they were “blessed with the weather.” Otherwise, the climbers haven’t yet given further details.

Another Piolet d’Or?

The peak was climbed for the first time from its south side by a Norwegian-UK team in 1950. Previously, no one has attempted or even explored the north face, because of its complicated and unknown topography. It was the perfect goal for three-time Piolet d’Or winner Kazuya Hiraide. He has devoted his career to exploring those “blank spaces” in the world’s great mountain ranges.

Hiraide and Nakajima have been regular expedition partners since Hiraide’s climbing and life partner, Key Taniguchi, perished in a mountain accident in Japan. Together, Hiraide and Nakajima have opened routes in excellent alpine style on Shishpare and Rakaposhi. Both earned the pair Piolets d’Or.

Last year, they also opened a route on Pakistan’s 6,977m Karun Koh. It wouldn’t be surprising if they received another Piolet d’Or nomination for this new achievement.

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.