Occasional Climber

Baltistan – K7 BC and Solo Pass, August 1992

After returning back down the Ghondokhoro glacier to Shaishcho, we began climbing again, this time up the Charakusa glacier. This dramatic icefall just above a shepherds summer shelter, known as Supanse at 3,600 metres, is over-shadowed by Namka Peak. This almost vertical face rises up right out of the picture on the right
The flowers seem to respond to the sunlight as well, gleaming even more brightly as they appear to frame the entrance to K7 base camp, still further up the Charakusa valley
Surface run-off carves channels across the sculptured ice of Charakusa glacier
Picking a way through the debris disgorged by the glacier requires constant concentration. The beautiful view of K6 on the right however, was a major distraction from the task at hand
The closer we got to K6, the wider and more magnificent the range of mountains dead ahead became. As we rounded a corner near the head of the Charakusa valley, this alpine paradise appeared. From left, the fabulous fluted ice peak of Link Sar appears deceptively small, despite being an impressive 7,041 metres. The giant in the centre is K6, at 7,281 metres and, nearest on the right, is Kapura at 6,544 metres. The base of K7, where we set up camp for two nights at 4,100 metres, is on the left in the foreground
Thundering down the flank of K6, almost in slow motion, a huge avalanche crashes into the valley ahead of us. For several minutes after the ominous rumbling had subsided, snow billowed outwards from the mountain-side, eventually settling on the valley floor. A common occurence while we were amongst these mountains, avalanches made an awesome impression
As the sun disappeared behind Masherbrum on a stunningly clear, calm evening, we were transfixed as Namka Peak, to the left, and the dramatic pyramid of Nazar Peak on the right, transformed into gigantic silhouettes, backlit by shades graduating from pale yellow to deep azure
As reward for another 3.30 AM start, we were blessed this time with a perfectly clear dawn. The first rays of the morning sun struck the summits of K6 and Kapura just as we reached a vantage-point some 500 metres above our tents
As the peaks began to glow in the silky dawn light, the only audible sounds came from the glacier far below. The faint sound of rushing water and the random cracking of ice, as it moved slowly forward, served to complete the atmosphere in this fabulous alpine setting
Offset by the unmistakable midnight blue of a clear high altitude sky, Farol Peak (6,370 metres) soared 1.6 kilometres above us
Having climbed 1,250 metres in four and a half hours, we needed a rest - and what better place to rest than here on Solo Pass! From this snowy saddle at 5,350 metres, under a crystal clear sky, we looked in near disbelief at scores of mighty peaks in every direction. Directly below was the massive fractured expanse of Batowaraho glacier. To the east, seemingly surrounding this ice bowl, were Chogolisa 1 (7,668 metres), Chogolisa 2 (7,654 metres), Snow Dome (7,150 metres), Baltoro Kangri (7,800 metres), Golden Peak (7,275 metres), Sia Kangri (7,422 metres), Saltoro Kangri (6,500 metres) and Sherpi Kangri (7,380 metres). From where we had climbed from, to the west, were Link Sar, K6, Kapura, Drafaki and Namka - a truely unforgettable sight
Another early start the following morning meant that we could cover good ground before sunrise down the Charakusa glacier, while its surface remained frozen solid. After about an hours brisk walk, this massive slab of granite, marooned on a stout column of ice, made a comfortable lean-to while we caught our breaths in the warming rays of the morning sun

To order a print or web resolution file of any image you see in this slide show, just right click the image, click “Copy Image URL” and paste in to the “Your message” box of our Contact Us form. Please also note, for each image, if you want a print or web resolution file. We will get back to you as soon as possible to confirm price and payment details.
Open Contact Us in a new window to paste Image URL(s) easily

Image specifications, pricing and licensing agreement