Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Alpinist Online Article

Hi Everyone,

Below is a link to an article about the trip that Jacqui wrote for the online version of Alpinist magazine. It looks great, Jacqui did a fantastic job with it!

http://www.alpinist.com/doc/web07f/wfeature-choktoi-hudson

Sarah

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Video of Basecamp

For all of you who have never been on an expedition, you may be wondering just what life is like in the big mountains. I've included here two videos of our basecamp. Just a little taster of what basecamp life was really like!

Sarah


video


video

Expedition Report

Expedition objective:

The team’s original objective was to make an ascent of the NE ridge of P5700; a peak situated on the south side of the Choktoi Glacier, clustered among the Latok group of the Karakorum.

Peak 5700 initially looked promising, but an early reconissance climb proved the rock quality to be generally poor, involving exfoliating loose granite. The team’s attention was then redirected back to a rock peak slightly east, and down valley from their original objective.

During the first weather window, the team had chosen to attempt this peak, as a ‘warm up’. Although the length and difficulty of the climbing had been underestimated, the rock quality was superb in comparison, and good progress had been made on establishing a line on the lower walls.

The route ascended a series of face cracks, corner systems, and left trending ramps on the East Face. The line was chosen because it showed a continuous line of weakness to the summit. The obvious North Ridge of the peak looked to involve a variety of gendarmes that over hung the steeper West Face.

In total the team made three attempts at the route. The first being the early ‘warm up’ single day attempt. A second attempt later in the trip got the team higher on the route, but ended short of the summit due to poor weather. As it was the team did a 19 hour round trip to base camp on this second attempt.

On the final attempt the team spent 2 and a half days on the route and reached a northern sub-summit, which is thought to be around 5200m. The true summit was a few 100 meters lateral, and higher. This would have required an alternative descent and the crossing of a number of loose corner systems to reach. Due an estimated absence of remaining quality climbing, the team chose to stop at this high point and descend.

Expedition Dates: July 8th – August 16th 2007

A daily breakdown of the expedition is given in the table below:

Date

Activity

July 8th

Arrival in Lahore

July 9th

Bus Ride to Islamabad: Meet with Guide (Abbas)

July 10th

Flight to Skardu

July 11-12th

Remained in Skardu. Luisa became ill for a day

July13th

Jeep ride to Askoli

July 14th-17th

Walk into Choktoi basecamp

July 18th

Recconaissance on the Choktoi Glacier

July 19th

Acclimitization on a peak behind camp

July 20th

Recconaissance climb on The Partition (8 pitches climbed)

July 21st

Rest day in base camp

July 22-25th

Bad weather resulted in a few days of walking on the Choktoi

July 26th

Second single day attempt on The Partition

July 27th

Rest in Base camp after 19 hours of climbing/walking the day before

July 28th

Jacqui and Luisa attempt P5700 (6 pitches climbed, ~300m 5.9 A1)

July 29th

Recconaissance of the Biacherahi Towers, upper end of Choktoi

July 30t

Leave for final attempt on The Partition, climb to grass ledge, bivi

July 31st

Climb to high point, rap back to bivi site, spend second night on wall

Aug 1st

Complete descent to glacier – cook brought breakfast over glacier!

Aug 2nd

Rest Day

Aug 3rd

Hike down the glacier as an active rest day, go bouldering

Aug 4th/5th

Abbas and Luisa walk to the Denmang Skinmang glacier while the other two rested and climbed around camp

Aug 6th-8th

Hike back to Askoli and a Jeep Ride to Skardu

Aug 9th -11th

Visit Abbas’ village of Khane in the Hushe Valley

Aug 12th

Day in Skardu

Aug 13th/14th

Drive KKH

Aug 15th

Islamabad

Aug 16th

Bus to Lahore, flights leave Pakistan

Climb Summary:

Area: Pakistan, Choktoi Glacier,

Route: The Partition (TD 5.10b 900m)

During the summer of 2007, three woman: Luisa Giles (British, 25), Sarah Hart (Canadian, 27), and Jacqueline Hudson (Canadian, 28), established a new 900m free rock line in the Karakorum Range of Pakistan. The route is a potentially unclimbed 5200m rock peak, on the Choktoi Glacier, in the Latok group. The rock peak, on the south side of the Choktoi glacier, is situated east (down valley) of the North Ridge of Latok I.

The team’s line ascended the east face by a series of granite corner and ledge systems. The unnamed peak is the second (or western most) of two similar north facing rock buttresses joined by a high col, and an ice couloir. The eastern most of these two peaks holds the The Indian Face Arete, 5.10 A3 established by Doug Scot and Sandy Allen in 1990.

The weather this summer was unseasonably poor for the Karakorum. Despite this the team had luck with coinciding blue skies and health. During these short windows they were able to acclimatize, reconnaissance and climb the below described route.

In mid July, the group established base camp on the north side of the Choktoi Glacier. An early weather window allowed for a one-day reconnaissance in which a left trending line of weakness was spotted on the east face of the peak. During this attempt the first few hundred meters of the route were climbed, although altitude sickness and gastro-intestinal problems turned the team around. This particular face appeared to possess superior quality rock than the north-facing ridge. A second single day attempt was thwarted by bad weather.

During the next weather window the group attempted the route for a third time. The peak was climbed over the course of three days; two nights were spent en route including both a planned and unplanned bivouac.

A series of cracks, on the east face of the peak, were followed to reach a system of left trending ramps, which ended as the face steepened. The first night was spent at this junction. The second day of climbing followed a steep corner system on clean granite (roughly 200m meters of continuous high quality 5.10 climbing), to reach an upper groove on the east face. This groove kicked back in angle and allowed for some fast simul-climbing over approximately 300m of left trending lower angle slabs. The terrain steepened again; granite face cracks and shallow corners were followed to reach the ridge crest. Another two to three hundred meters of ridge climbing on looser more fractured granite brought the team to a sub summit by 4pm.

The route went free with 19 full 60m-rope lengths and roughly 300m of simul-climbing, consisting of a number of 5.9 and 5.10- pitches. The hardest pitch being around 5.10b. The group reached a northern sub-summit, which is thought to be around 5200m. The true summit was a few 100 meters lateral, and higher. This would have required an alternative descent and the crossing of a number of loose corner systems to reach. Due to time, and an estimated absence of remaining quality climbing, the team chose to stop at this high point and descend.

The descent was made by roughly reversing the route. A rope getting stuck on an early rappel wasted the remaining 2 hours of daylight, and required cutting the rope. A series of rappels aided by moonlight brought the group back to their stashed bivi gear by 11pm, at this point they decided to stay on the wall for a second night, and finish the descent the following day. The remainder of the descent consisted of a down climb and 3 rappels, which brought them into a breakfast of fresh bread, cream, jam, boiled eggs, tea and coffee, brought to them by their worried base camp cook.

During the climb the team found 2 old pieces of rap tat (one low on the route, the other about 2/3 the way up). It is possible that a previous party had reached the summit of this peak via another line, but it is very unlikely that the route this summer’s party took had been climbed before. The group has not found documentation of any previous ascents.

The team named the route ‘The Partition’, in honor of the 60th anniversary of Pakistan’s independence this year, and also because the eastern twin rock peak holds the route: ‘The Indian Face Arete’.

This trip was funded in part by grants from the Canadian Alpine Club (Jen Higgins Award), The Mount Everest Foundation, and the Mountain Equipment Co-op. We would also like to thank MEC, 5.10, Black Diamond, Arcteryx and La Sportiva for their support.


Thursday, September 20, 2007

Check out the Article

Just wanted to let everyone know there has been an article about our trip added to the website for Climbing Magazine. Check it out.

http://climbing.com/news/hotflashes/thepartition07/

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Flying From Islamabad to Skardu

Here's a video of our marvelously scary flight from Islamabad into the Karakorum town of Skardu. The flight was heart stopping fto say the least! And amazingly we flew past Nanga Parbat at eye level to the summit. That's 26, 268 feet high!!!
video

Some of my favorite photo's












Hi Everyone,

I was sorting through some of my photo's from the trip today and I realized, "I have a blog....I could share these photo's!" So here they are, I hope you like them.

Sarah

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Home!

We are all now back in Canada, safe and sound!

Slowly adjusting to the chaos of work, school, phones, mail, electric kitchen appliances, and way to much stimuli!

Soon to come: trip report and wild tales of adventure including cutting ropes, rapping by moonlight, and smoking too much Afghan hash (consumed mostly during the 24 hrs of mad travel down the Karakorum highway).

Stay tunned....

But by way of a taster, below shows a lovely rock nubbin (by Karakorum standards) that we greatly enjoyed climbing!