First Ascents In The Indian Karakoram

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Yesterday I posted a story about the first ascent of Saser Kangri II that was completed by Steve Swenson, Mark Richey, and Freddie Wilkinson a few weeks back. It turns out, the boys weren’t the only ones have some fun in the Karakoram this summer, as Kirsten Kremer, Emillie Drinkwater, and Freddie’s wife, Janet Bergman, were also on hand to get in on the action.

Bergman posted a trip report on the Hardwear Sessions Blog a few days back detailing their climbs. She, and the other two ladies, traveled with the Saser Kangri II team to Base Camp before both squads went their separate ways to take on several unclimbed peaks. The girls focused their attention on a mountain that they simply called “6135,” which happens to be its height in meters. That’s 20,127 feet for those keeping track at home.

The team made two attempts to climb the unnamed mountain, but to no avail. Janet reports that the climbing was good, albeit challenging, but while they were on the face and the sun was out, they were continually bombarded by falling rock and ice. After a few days of those conditions, they decided that it was not safe to continue up the mountain, so they elected to return to Base Camp and look for other challenges.

They found those challenges on Pumo Kangri (6440 meters/21,128 ft), which Kirsten and Emillie climbed, and Saser Linga IV(~6200 meters/20,341 ft). In early August, the ladies were joined by Mark and Freddie for a climb up Stegosaurus, a 6640 meter (21,785 ft) mountain that features spiked ridges not unlike the back of the dinosaur from which it derives its name.

You can read more and check out some photos on their blog post, found here. Sounds like a pretty great way to spend most of your July and August. Congrats to the team.

Kraig Becker