Friday, August 7, 2009


Rakaposhi is a mountain in the Karakoram mountain range. It is situated in the Nagar Valley approximately 100 km north of the city of Gilgit. Rakaposhi means "shining wall" in the local language. Rakaposhi is also known as Rakaposhi Peak. Rakapushi and Dumani ("Mother of Mist"). It is ranked 27th highest in the world and 12th highest in Pakistan, but it is more popular for its beauty than its rank might suggest and is said to be one of the most beautiful mountains in the world. It is 7788 m high.

Rakaposhi was first climbed in 1958 by Mike Banks and Tom Patey, members of a British-Pakistani expedition, via the Southwest Spur/Ridge route. Both of them suffered minor frostbite during the ascent. Another climber slipped and fell on the descent and died during the night.

Notable features

Rakaposhi is notable for its exceptional rise over local terrain, almost unmatched in the world. For example, it rises 6000m in only 16.5km horizontal distance from the Hunza River. There are magnificent views of Rakaposhi from the Karakoram Highway on the route through Hunza. A tourist spot in the town of Ghulmat (located in the Nagar Valley) called "Zero Point of Rakaposhi" is the closest convenient view point of the mountain which is where this pic is taken.

Time line

* 1892 Martin Conway explores the south side of Rakaposhi.
* 1938 M. Vyvyan and R. Campbell Secord make the first reconnaissance and climb a north-western forepeak (about 5,800m/19,000') via the northwest ridge.
* 1947 Secord returns with H. W. Tilman and two Swiss climbers; they ascend via the Gunti glacier to 5,800m/19,000' on the south-west spur.
* 1954 Cambridge University team, led by Alfred Tissières, attempts the peak via the south-west spur but only reached 6,340m/20,800'. Also, an Austro-German expedition led by Mathias Rebitsch attempted the same route.
* 1956 A British-American expedition, led by Mike Banks, reaches 7,163m/23,500' on the Southwest Ridge, above the Gunti glacier.
* 1958 The first ascent, noted above.
* 1964 An Irish expedition attempts the long and difficult Northwest Ridge.
* 1971 Karl Herrligkofer leads an attempt on the elegant but difficult North Spur (or North Ridge).
* 1973 Herrligkofer returns to the North Spur but is again unsuccessful due to time and weather problems.
* 1979 A Polish-Pakistani expedition ascends the Northwest Ridge from the Biro Glacier.
* 1979 A Japanese expedition from Waseda University, led by Eiho Ohtani, succeeds in climbing the North Spur. Summit party: Ohtani and Matsushi Yamashita. This ascent was expedition-style, done over a period of six weeks, with 5000m of fixed rope.
* 1984 A Canadian team achieves a semi-alpine-style ascent of the North Spur, using much less fixed rope than the Japanese team had. Summit party: Barry Blanchard, David Cheesmond, Kevin Doyle.
* 1985-1987 Various unsuccessful attempts on the long East Ridge.
* 1986 A Dutch team climbs a variation of the Northwest Ridge route.
* 1995 An ascent via the Northwest Ridge.
* 1997 An ascent via the Southwest Spur/Ridge (possibly the original route).
* 2000 An attempt from the East side (Bagrot Glacier).

[edit] Climbing routes

The routes with successful summits so far have been (see the timeline as well):

* Southwest Spur/Ridge (first ascent route). Long, but not exceedingly technical. Some tricky gendarmes (rock pinnacles). Has been repeated.
* Northwest Ridge. Long, and more technically difficult than the SW Spur/Ridge. Has been repeated.
* North Spur (a.k.a. North Ridge). Shorter than the above two routes, but much more technically difficult. Has been repeated, including a semi-alpine-style (capsule style) ascent.

Satpara Lake (Approx 2000m)
Northern Areas

En route to Boisum Pass, Shimshal, Gojal District, Northern Pakistan
4900 meters

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