Kazuya Hiraide Carves A New Route Up Shispare

Japanese climber Kazuya Hiraide and partner Kenro Nakajima have completed a new seven-day route up Shispare in Pakistan.

First Japanese recipient of the Piolet d’Or Award for mountaineering, Kazuya Hiraide is well-known in the alpine scene. In 2009, he became the first person to scale the south-eastern wall of Mt. Kamet (7,756m) in India. Two years later Hiraide travelled to Tibet to climb the eastern summit of Mt. Kula Kangri (7,381m). A year earlier in 2010, Hiraide was also involved in a dramatic rescue whilst attempting to summit the Himalayan mountain of Ama Dablam. In a tragic accident, the helicopter that came to their aid caught the ridge and crashed into the mountain, killing both pilots.

Now, Hiraide has appeared in headlines again. On 22nd August 2017, he and his partner Kenro Nakajima pioneered a new route up the imposing north-east face of the sculptured Shispare (7611m) in Pakistan. It was a seven-day climb, during which the climbers had to contend with heavy snowfall, low to zero visibility and increasingly difficult ascents. At one point, Nakajima was even struck by mountain sickness. The resilient pair finally summited the peak at 14:30 and had to descend immediately due to imminent bad weather. When they returned to base camp they were exhausted, but triumphant.

It’s always exciting when a climber carves a new path up a mountain, reimagining the definition of what pioneers can achieve in this sport. This was Hiraide’s third attempt at Shispare, dealing with difficulties up to M6 / WI 5. It was another brave feat that gives testimony to his perseverance and his ability to overcome adversity.

Shispare NE Face, difficult first ascent in Karakorum by Kazuya Hiraide and Kenro Nakajim – Planet Mountain

Historic ascent of Shispare northeast face – UIAA

Japanese climbers land a coup on Shispare – Stefan Nestler