Unclimbed No More: The First Ascent on Pumari Chhish East

After several attempts by a number of teams, a French expedition comprising Jerome Sullivan, Victor Saucede, and Christophe Ogier has reached the summit of Pumari Chhish East, according to outfitter HighMountains T&T.

The news came from the Base Camp crew, so details and pictures will have to wait until the climbers return from the mountain. It shouldn’t take long, the team safely arrived in Base Camp this morning and has now set off towards Hispar.

Great weather

“The climbers said they had been very lucky with excellent weather conditions,” the outfitter added. Indeed, after a stormy spell, the weather improved all over the Karakoram at the beginning of this week. It has remained stable since.

Tom Livingstone stopped 100 vertical metres shy of the highest point on Pumari Chhish last year. Photo: Mathieu Maynadier/Mountain Equipment

 

The last attempt on Pumari Chhish East was last year. Mathieu Maynadier and Tom Livingstone reported some “crazy snow mushrooms and cornices” on the long ridge sections. Maynadier explained that they had followed the only logical line they could see up the face, but it is unclear whether Sullivan, Saucede, and Ogier followed the same route.

High altitude alpinism

The main peak of Pumari Chhish (7,492m) has been climbed only once before, in 1979 by a Japanese team that eventually summited via the north ridge. But the East point (6,850m) remained unsummited and had become a coveted prize among highly skilled alpine climbers. This first ascent is a remarkable achievement.

All three team members are mountain guides and elite alpinists. They are based in the French Alps but also climb internationally. Usually, their favorite summer playground is Patagonia, where they have an impressive number of completed climbs.

In 2020, Sullivan and Saucede opened a new route on the East face of Grandes Jorasses (Mont Blanc Massif), together with Jeremy Brauge.

Angela Benavides

Angela Benavides is a college-graduated journalist specialised on high-altitude mountaineer 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 corporates, press manager and communication executive,and a published author.