(Back to: Pakistan, Karakoram)
By Magnus Eriksson, Norway
Hostfjellet (ca.5,500m), north-northeast face.
From August 20 to September 20 Martin Jakobsson and I, both originally Swedish, visited the Hispar Glacier, establishing base camp at its junction with the Khani Basa Glacier. Our goal was 6,651m Tahu Rutum by a new route, the northwest ridge [this ridge was the aim of a young British party in 2010, but bad weather prevented them setting foot on the mountain.] Base camp was too far away from the mountain, complicating logistics, but our porters had refused to walk farther. We took no satellite phone, radio, or GPS, in order to experience the isolation enjoyed by climbers in the past. We made two unsuccessful alpine-style attempts, reaching 5,750m, but on the approach we spotted a sharp rock pyramid in the unnamed adjacent valley between the Khani Basa and Yutmara glaciers. We thought it would make a good consolation prize.
A three-hour hike led to a nice bivouac spot on the moraine at 4,300m, just before the dry glacier. We scoped the approach and found that the snow gully leading to the south ridge, which we had seen previously, had melted out and was too dangerous. We decided to try the north-northeast face, even though we had not yet seen it.
At 3 a.m. we started up the 200m icefall guarding access to the upper basin. Here we discovered a line that would provide mixed climbing, rather than rock, and were happy that we’d carried ice gear in case. Six hundred meters of increasingly difficult climbing, with the last three pitches M5/M6, led to the summit ridge, where 100m of easy rotten rock gained the top. Our altimeters showed ca 5,400m. [The Russian map marks the peak as 5,501m.] We completed the climb in a 20-hour push.
As far as we can tell both mountain and glacier have no name, so we referred to the peak as Hostfjellet (Norwegian for Autumn Peak).