Cana­di­ans in the Karako­ram

Gripped - - NEWS -

This sum­mer, Raphael Slaw­in­ski and Alik Berg trav­elled to Pu­mari Ch­hish in the Karako­ram on a trip that was sup­ported by the John Lauch­lan Award this sum­mer. “We had hoped to com­plete our ac­clima­ti­za­tion in only two weeks, but a week-long spell of bad weather at the end of July kept us con­fined to base­camp,” said Slaw­in­ski. “With ac­clima­ti­za­tion out of the way, we turned our at­ten­tion to the south wall of Pu­mari Ch­hish East. The shat­tered glacier be­low the face was im­pass­able, but we were able to find an al­ter­nate ap­proach by climb­ing over a rock spur. From the crest of the spur we got our first close look at the face.”

The wall looked out of con­di­tion so they played it safe and set­tled for an un­climbed peak. “The first day we scram­bled to a bivouac at 5,700 me­tres on the south ridge of our ob­jec­tive,” said Slaw­in­ski. “The next day we spent six­teen hours ne­go­ti­at­ing the com­plex ridge to and from the 5,980-me­tre sum­mit, ar­riv­ing back at our bivouac well after mid­night.”

They left the val­ley a few days later. “Pu­mari Ch­hish East re­mains un­climbed, but we still had a great ad­ven­ture among great moun­tains and great peo­ple,” said Slaw­in­ski. “We did not come back suc­cess­ful, but we came back safe and we came back friends.”

Above: Adam On­dra on the IFSC panel at the World Cham­pi­onships in Inns­bruck

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