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Lyman Spitzer Team Attempts K7
May 2001 :: Pakistan :: Karakoram Range

Brady Robinson reports on his Lyman Spitzer Award supported attempt on K7.  The team was not able to summit, but it was an amzing effort on a very seldom visited peak.  Read the whole report below!

Brigadier Tahir pulled out a military map marked “secret”.  Dave Anderson, Jimmy Chin, Steph Davis and I looked at each other in disbelief as Tahir, a commanding officer involved in Pakistan’s ongoing border skirmish with India, pointed out peaks he though might interest us.  He’d flown over the Karakoram many times in a helicopter, he explained, and had an appreciation for climbers’ tastes after being Reinhold Messner’s liason officer on two expeditions.

“Where is K7?” he asked.

We pointed to the end of the Charakusa valley.

“It has been closed since the mid 80’s, but it is far from the fighting on the Siatchen.  I think it’s time we opened it.”

Our unbelievably lucky meeting with Tahir occurred last year.  He made good on his promise, so Jimmy, Conrad Anker and I returned in June with the first permit issued for K7 in years.  The only previous ascent had been via a 2 month siege by a Japanese team through a coulior on the south side.  We chose a mixed wall route on the southeast face.

Heading up with 10 days of food, four ropes, and an assortment of ice and rock gear, we followed a snow coulior that led to a section of wall that was adequately protected from avalanches.  After several days of climbing icy cracks in good rock, we reached a steep snow field at 19,000ft.  We set up a portaledge at the top of the snowfield and spent the next 5 days waiting for the storm to pass.  We fixed several lines in marginal weather conditions, then abandoned much of our gear for a final desperation summit bid.  With food running low and the weather deteriorating yet again, we abandoned our attempt.  Our descent took four days due to poor avalanche conditions and heavy snowfall.  We arrived in basecamp after 15 days on the route, very happy to be back in the land of sausage, cheese, and crackers.  Of course, the weather was perfect for the next week.

All in all, it was a fine outing.  We placed no bolts in over 4000ft of climbing, cleaned up after ourselves and returned with friendships and toes intact.  We would like to thank The North Face, Polartec, and of course the AAC for their generous Lyman Spitzer award, which helped make our trip a reality.