OverviewThis is similar to the direct route. The starting point is further east. To reach the col at around 5000m requires a combination of climbing and traversing. The main advantage of this route is that it starts from approximately 100m higher up. The traverse is relatively easy but could be problematic in soft snow. The starting point was also closer to our base camp than the start of the direct route.
We could not find our bivi sight after the climb so I am probably not the best person to be writing about the approach! We started our climb from the south-eastern aspect of the glacier. The starting point was where the exposed ice gave way to glacier hidden beneath morrain on the glacier’s eastern side. We made a bivi camp here beneath the start of the route.
Climb initially navigating though a couple of large crevasses. These are large and probably impossible to cross if you get your line wrong. Once above them (approximately 300m up) start the traverse right. There are a couple of crevasses to navigate through but the route was straightforward enough. The final section to the col was fairly difficult traversing 55° snow slopes with a steep final step to the col.
From the col the climbing becomes easier. Cross a plateau in a southerly direction and ascend the gentle East Ridge that leads to the summit. The gradient becomes steeper towards the top but never exceeds 45°. A small rock buttress which interrupts the ridge near the start can either be climbed over or detoured around. Before the summit the ridge bears SW. From the summit there are awesome views of the unclimbed Kuk Sar II (6925m), one of the most impressive peaks in the Karakoram.
Couple of ice screws
Couple of slings
Couple of quickdraws if you want to pitch the final section to the col