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Slovene Mountaineering expedition »Nangma 2004«

Alpine Club Celje

Nangma Area sketch


Base camp in Nangma valley. Behind Great Tower (aka. Shingu Charapa, 5800 m) and it's east face. Photo: Matic Jošt


South ridge of Drifika (6447 m). Our first attempt finished 100 m higher. Photo: Matic Jošt


Vladimir on belay durring our first attempt in south-east face of Drifika (6447 m). Photo: Matic Jošt


Vladimir on the south-east Drifika face (6447 m) durring our first attempt. Photo: Matic Jošt


Vladimir's rappel after unsuccessful ascent in south-east face of Drifika. (6447 m) Photo: Matic Jošt


Gregor and Vladimir descent after successful ascent in south-east face of Drifika (6447 m), Photo: Matic Joštt


Descent after the ascent in south-east face of Drifika (6447 m). Photo: Matic Jošt


Descent after the ascent in south-east face of Drifika (6447 m). There is a passage above, on the left side by the serac. That part of ascent was the hardest one. Photo: Matic Jošt


Morning view down the south-east face of Drifika (6447 m). Photo: Matic Jošt


Morning after the second night spent in south-east face of Drifika. (6447 m). Photo: Matic Jošt


Belay on the nord ridge of Drifika (6447 m). Photo: Matic Jošt


Nord ridge close to Drifika peak (6447 m) and old fix ropes remains. Photo: Matic Jošt


Pitch under the edge of south-east Drifika (6447 m) face. Behind Charakusa glacier. Photo: Matic Jošt


Evening descent from Korada Peaka (aka. Kota 5944 m). Photo: Matic Jošt


Climbing on the rock bend in the south-east face of Korada Peak (aka kota 5944 m). Photo: Matic Jošt


Second pitch in the rock bend in the south-east face of Koarada Peak (aka kota 5944 m). Photo: Matic Jošt


Face become steeper, thus we tied each other up in the south-east face of Korada Peak (aka kota 5944 m). Photo: Matic Jošt


It was verry hot durring the day, and the conditions were bad in the south-east face of Korada Peak (aka kota 5944 m). Photo: Matic Jošt


Vladimir on the summit of Korada Peaka (aka Kota 5944 m). Photo: Matic Jošt


Amin Brakk and Changi Towers from the south. Poto Matic Jošt


View uppwards Nagma valley. Photo Matic Jošt


Unclimbed and unnamed peak cca 5900 m high. Photo Matic Jošt


Nangma valley, Pakistan. Photo Matic Jošt


Another unclimbed peak in Nangma valley 5500 m high. Photo Matic Jošt


From the left to the right: Gregor Blažič, Husein, Vladimir Makarovič, Matic Jošt. Photo: avtomatic

sobota, 30. oktober 2004, ob 00:00, Branko Ivanek, ogledov: 5804

Expedition leader report.

Slovene Mountaineering expedition
»Nangma 2004« - report


1. Members of the expedition


Matija Jost – Matic, leader (Slovenia, Mountaineering Club Celje), 33 years old
Gregor Blazic (Slovenia, Mountaineering Club Nova Gorica), 30 years old
Zlatko Koren, (Slovenia, Mountaineering Club Nova Gorica), 30 years old
Vladimir Makarovic – Vlado (Slovenia, Mountaineering Club Nova Gorica), 30 years old
Husein (cook), 23 years old

2. Agency in Pakistan


BLUE SKY TREKS & TOURS
Head office:
Link road, Girls High School,
Kushu Bagh, P.O.Box # 642-16100
Skardu – Baltistan – Pakistan
Ph: +92 333 5104985
Fax: +92 51 5584566 (Attn. 1605)
E-mail: [email protected]
Managing director: Gulam Muhammad

3. Chronology of the expedition


13. July
Departure from Venice Airport.

14. July
Arrival to Islamabad.

15. July
Drive to Skardu.

16. July
Arrival to Skardu. After short sleep we drive further to Kande village.

17. July
Together with 35 porters we reach Base camp at cca 3900 m in Nangma valley. We pitch our tents close to Canadian and Slovene-Austrian expeditions. Weather is mostly sunny.

18.July
Zlatko and Gregor go walking below west face of Denbor Brakk for acclimatization. They reach lower moraine of glacier below Amin Brakk and Drifika. Vladimir and Matic have diarrhea problems. Weather is cloudy with showers.

19. July
Zlatko and Gregor walk up east of east face of Shingu Charpa (Great Tower) up to cca 5100 m. Vladimir and Matic walk up to the glacier below southeast face of Drifika to cca 5000 m. Weather is cloudy with showers.

20. July
Rest day. Weather is cloudy with showers.

21. July
All members go up to the saddle (cca 5300 m) on south ridge of Drifika. We pitch two tents and sleep there. Weather is cloudy with showers.

22. July
All members climb up to the south east face of Drifika. We climb in far left side of the face near the south ridge. When we came up to 5700 m we start descending back to our tents. We sleep again on saddle (cca 5300 m). Weather is cloudy with showers.

23. July
Descent to Base camp. We leave our tents at the saddle. Weather is bad (snow and rain).

24. July
Rest day. Weather is sunny.

25. July
All members go up to the saddle (cca. 5300 m). Weather is perfect.

26. July
At 0:30 all members start climbing up the southeast face of Drifika. We climb first 200 m unroped. We climb close to south ridge. Until sun hit the wall conditions are very good but later on it became hot and snow became soft and avalanche prone. At cca 17:00 we reach the south ridge at cca 6200 m. The ridge is very sharp and corniced but somehow we cut ledges into ice for our bivy. Weather is perfect.

27. July
We continue climbing but after 50 m of not so hard but delicate climbing we were stopped by steep rock band. We couldn’t find easier continuation of the route so we start rappelling back down. We make 16 rappels mostly on rock pitons because ice was too bad for abalakov threads. Last 200 m we climb down and at 19:30 we are back to our tents on the saddle. Weather is perfect.

28. July
Descent to Base camp. We clear all from the saddle. After clear morning it started to rain at 12:00 just as we came to base camp.

29. July
Rest day. We make new bridge over Nangma River. Weather is cloudy with showers.

30. July
Rest day in base camp. Weather is bad (snow and rain).

31. July
Gregor and Matic climbed new route “Autobahn to Amsterdam”. Weather is cloudy with showers.

1. Aug
Rest day in Base camp. Zlatko has some health problems and after talk with doctor in Slovenia via satellite telephone he decides to go home as soon as possible. Weather is bad (snow and rain).

2. Aug
Gregor and Vlade walk up to below Changi Towers. Zlatko and Matic go down to Kande, where jeep awaits Zlatko. He came to Skardu the same evening and Matic walk back to the base camp. Weather is cloudy with showers.

3. Aug
Rest day in base camp. Weather is bad (snow and rain).

4. Aug
Rest day in base camp. Weather is bad (snow and rain) but weather forecast is good so we make plan for ascent on K5944 m.

5. Aug
All three of us go toward K5944. We pitch our tent at the rocky ridge in the middle of the glacier below southeast face of Drifika at cca 5100 m. At evening we receive bad news from home that Bostjan Arcon fell to his death in the face of Mojstrovka. He was young member of mountaineering club from Nova Gorica. Weather is perfect.

6. Aug
At 1:00 in the morning we start from our tent. We cross easy glacier and at 2:00 we start to climb up the southwest face of K5944 m. The first 200 m conditions were perfect so we climb unroped. At that point face became steeper so we start to belay. From central part of the wall we proceed towards right to reach the prominent spur. Ice was sometimes thin and there was some mix ground. We reach the spur below steep 60 m high rock band. We climb it in three short pitches (grade V UIAA). Further up we continue up the snowy ridge to the summit. Again when the sun hit the face, conditions went bad. At cca 17:30 we were on the summit. The summit itself is composed from three rock towers. We climb up the eastern one, but once on the top we realize that both two more western summits are few meters (maybe 10 m) higher. Also the eastern summit is the easiest one. We made also GPS measurement on last belay some 15 m below summit with device which is part of Thuraya satellite phone. The result was 35° 24' 27.38'' North, 76° 29' 23.33'' East and height of 5955 m. After that we start to descent more or les via route of ascent, we climb down easiest parts and rappel steepest sections. Weather is perfect.

7. Aug
At 3:00 we come to our tent. After short sleep we descend down to base camp. We leave our tent for another attempt on Drifika. Weather is perfect.

8. Aug
Rest day in Base camp. Weather is cloudy with showers.

9. Aug
We go walking up to Changi Towers base camp where Spanish expedition was. Weather is bad (snow and rain).

10. Aug
Base camp. Weather is bad (snow and rain).

11. Aug
We go up to the tent below southeast face of Drifika. Weather is bad (snow and rain).

12. Aug
We wait for weather to improve. At evening it looks good so at 19:00 we decide to go. Shortly after Gregor fall into cravers and luckily everything was OK. We climb up in the central part of the southeast face via prominent ridge. Weather is bad with showers.

13. Aug
We climb until 10:00. Vladimir had some stomach problems so we stop for day rest at cca 5900 m. So far climbing was easy in snow and ice from 40° to 60° in good conditions. We belay only 4 pitches so far in easy mix ground. In the evening at 20:30 we continue our climbing via ridge. At cca 6200 we bypass serak oh its left side. It was the hardest pitch of the climb with few meters of vertical ground, but all the rest was snow and ice up to 60°. We belay all the time. Weather is perfect.

14. Aug
We reach the north ridge at cca 6:00 in the morning. There was a lot of old abandon fix ropes. They all stop some 20 m below summit. The north ridge itself was quite sharp and corniced. We climb to the end of old fix ropes and just wander how to climb to the very sharp summit when we hear the noise of falling serak. We look down and we see that avalanche hit the team of three climbers (Spanish-Bask-expedition) in the lower part of the wall. It was obvious that only one was able to move properly. So at that point we were some 20 vertical meters and some 50 horizontal meters below summit of the Drifika and we decide to descend. At cca 13:00 we reach the site of our day rest. We look over cornice to the other part of the face and we saw that one climber, probably dead, was clipped in to ice slope and there was no sign of other two climbers. They have probably descended back down. We rest for an hour and then continue our descent. At 20:30 we come to our tent. Weather is perfect.

15. Aug
We descend back down to our base camp. We see about 10 porters going up on the other side of the glacier to the Spanish (Bask) high camp. Weather is perfect.

16. Aug
Rest day. The helicopter rescue Spanish (Bask) climbers. Weather is perfect.

17. Aug
We want to go rock climbing but in the middle of the day the rain starts.

18. Aug
Rest day in base camp. Weather is bad (snow and rain).

19. Aug
Rest day in Base camp. Weather is cloudy with showers.

20.Aug
Rest day in base camp. Weather is bad (snow and rain).

21. Aug
Rest day in base camp. Weather is bad (snow and rain).

22. Aug
We want to climb south ridge of Denbor Brakk, but at 7:00 starts to snow. Vladimir goes back to Base camp. Gregor and Matic go up to the saddle (cca 4600 m) between Denbor Brak and Karakom Brakk

23. Aug
Packing.. Weather is cloudy with showers.

24. Aug
Base camp to Skardu.

25. Aug
Skardu.

26. Aug
Flight Skardu - Islamabad. It was the only flight that week and also in bad weather. In shalah!

27. Aug
Islamabad

28. Aug
Islamabad

29. Aug
Flight Islamabad – London - Venice. Drive back home.

4. Achievements of the expedition


New route AUTOBAN TO AMSTERDAM.


South slopes below Denbor Brakk (4800 m, marked with C) and Changi Tower (5300 m, marked with B), where is route AUTOBAN TO AMSTERDAM (170 m, UIAA: 6, A1/ 5, 3, 4, Blazic, Jost, 2004) marked with A. Dots indicate belay points.

Nice short rocks climb convenient as entertainment in rainy days.
Height: 170 m (bottom 3900 m, top 4070 m)
Difficulty (UIAA): VI, A1/ V, III, IV
1. pitch 30 m, VI, A1
2. pitch: 65 m, V, IV
3. pitch : 50 m, III, IV
4. pitch: 55 m, III, IV
5. pitch: 10 m, III, IV
Time: 6 hours.
Date 31st July 2004.
First ascent: Gregor Blazic, Matija Jost

First ascent of K 5944 m –KORADA PEAK– via BOSTJAN ARCON MEMORIAL ROUTE


From the saddle (5300 m) under the south ridge of Drifika (6447 m) there is a wonderful view on many peaks. B is Kapura (6566 m), C is K6 West (7040 m), E is K6 Main (7281 m). A is K5944 m in the ridge which connects Drifika (left - out of picture) and Amin Brakk (right out of picture). D is BOSTJAN ARCON MEMORIAL ROUTE (750 m, snow and ice (alpine ice) from 40° to 75°, some rock 5, alpine TD+, Gregor Blazic, Matija Jost, Vladimir Makarovic, 2004, alpine style). This is also the route of first ascent of the mountain. Because local people don’t have any name for this peak we suggest name KORADA PEAK.

Serious ice climb with 60 m high rock band in the middle. We made probably first ascent of the mountain and we suggested name KORADA PEAK for it. The route is for example harder than Swiss route in Les Curtes. We made alpine style ascent.
Height: 750 m (bottom 5200 m, summit 5944 m)
Difficulty: In rock UIAA V, snow and ice (alpine ice) from 40° to 75°, alpine TD+
Time: ascent 15 hours, descent 10 hours.
Date: 6. Aug. and 7. Aug.2004
First ascent: Gregor Blazic, Matija Jost, Vladimir Makarovic

New route WHITE RIVER in south east face of Drifika (6447 m)


South face of Drifika (6477 m) as seen from Korada Peak (K 5944 m). With A is marked summit of Drifika, B is saddle 5300 m where we put our tents during acclimatization. E is south ridge, C is East Ridge (attempt of Dutch expedition in 2001), D is north ridge (Japanese expedition in 1978, snow and ice up to 500). G is line of our attempt up to 6300 m (Blazic, Jost, Koren, Makarovic, 2004). F is route WHITE RIVER (D+, 1200 m, snow and ice from 40° to 60° , Blazic, Jost, Makarovic, 2004, alpine style). H is line of Spanish (Bask) attempt in 2004, with X is marked the site of accident.

Probably first route in this face. Maybe some day it will be normal route from Nangma valley. We made alpine style ascent.
Height: 1200 m (bottom 5200 m, north ridge 6400 m)
Difficulty: snow & ice (alpine ice) from 40° to 60° one point 90°, mix II (UIAA) one point V (UIAA).
Alpine D+.
Time: ascent effective 16 hours, descent effective 12 hours
Date: 12. Aug., 13. Aug. and 14. Aug. 2004
First ascent: Gregor Blazic, Matija Jost, Vladimir Makarovic

5. Other expeditions in the Nangma valley this year


In summer of 2004 there was at least 8 climbing expeditions in Nangma valley. Information about them are based mainly on talking with other people we met ad can be incorrect. There is some information about other expeditions:
  1. Russian expedition to west face of Amin Brakk. They started new route but in the middle of the face turn to Czech express. They fix a lot of rope an also made BASE jump from the edge of the west face. Everything is somewhere on internet…
  2. Czech expedition to Amin Brakk. They operate without any porters and without cook. They split into two teams. First team tried east face of Amin Brakk in alpine style. Second tried west face of Amin Brakk via new route but later they turned their attention to west face of Denbor Brakk, where they climbed new route. They fixed some rope but climbed mostly free.
  3. Canadian expedition (Chris nad Dave) to Shingu Charapa. They tried to climb north ridge of Shingu Charpa in alpine style. At their third attempt they climbed 24 pitches. They also made second ascent of Autoban to Amsterdam.
  4. Slovenian-Austrian expedition (Janez Skok, Ines Bozic Skok, Michael Mayr, Hannes Mayr). Janez and Ines climbed new route in south face of Brang Zang in alpine style (1 bivy). Michael and Hannes made second ascent of this route and also FFA at around 7b+, on sight in 1 day. Ines and Janez also climbed new ice route in Jonono Towers. They all tried in north ridge of Shingu Charapa.
  5. Spanish expedition to east face of Changi Tower. They started new route with fixing ropes.
  6. Italian expedition. Two climbers from Trieste. One of them was Zaleri Stefano. They climbed new route in north face of No Name walls. They fixed ropes all the way.
  7. Spanish (Bask) expedition to Drifika. They want to climb southeast face in expedition style but one member died in accident when serak broke.

In Bodrez 23rd Sept. 2004

Leader of the expedition: Matija Jost


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