German Team Makes Second First Ascent in 3 Days

Last week I posted an update of the quiet, yet still unfolding, climbing season in Pakistan, where very few teams have arrived this summer. Thanks to the ongoing pandemic, most commercial and independent climbing expeditions have elected to stay home, avoiding potential exposure while traveling. But a team from Germany did make the journey and has found success, completing two first ascents in a matter of just three days.

In last week’s update I noted that German climber Felix Berg, along with Pakistani mountaineer Mirza Ali Baig, had been joined by three paying clients—also from Germany—for an adventure in the Karakoram. The five climbers left their mark by making the first ascent of an unclimbed peak in the in the Shimshal Valley. As it turns out, that 5770 meter (18,930 ft) mountain was just a warm up, as the group has managed to add yet another first ascent to their resume, and the might not be done just yet.

According to Stephen Nestler’s Adventure Mountain blog, Berg and company reached the summit of yet another unnamed peak, although this one was even higher than the first. This time out, they ascended to a height of 6105 meters (20,029 ft). The ascent was described as “longer and more technically demanding” by Berg himself on the Summit Club Instagram page.

In total, it took just one week in the Shimshal Valley for the team to complete their planned expedition. But, they are allowed to continue climbing through the end of August. Berg reports that the weather is quite good and there are still a number of enticing peaks to explore, so they are currently weighing their options. Six days to go, they may manage to knock off another one or two mountains before deciding to head home.

This is some much needed good news in a year where there has been very little mountaineering happening. Congrats to Alex, Mirza Ali, and the rest of the crew on a job well done.

Kraig Becker