I have always wanted to go to Pakistan and explore an unknown valley that has been over looked by other expeditions. This has been a dream of mine for many years and this past September I was able to fulfill this. Every expedition starts with research and in my search I came across a report from a team of Bulgarians who had explored the Khane in 2011. They reported excellent climbing potential in this valley located in between the popular Charakusa and Nagmah Valleys. I knew this was the place we needed to visit. We arrived in Pakistan on August 24th and met with Abbas, a local Khane man who would help us with logistics. We quickly left Islamabad, flew into Skardu and organized ourselves for the long jeep ride into the village.
, it was like a sea of orange. Everyone was excited to see us as I think many have never seen Westerners in the Khane.
On September14th Camilo and I climbed a new route on the West face of Peak 25 in the Khane Valley, Karakorum Range, Pakistan. We were unable to reach the summit due to poor rock quality on the last ~200 meters of the peak so the exact altitude of the peak remains unknown. After establishing base camp at 4,050 meters (Boulder Camp) on the First Terrace, we then made high camp at 4,650 meters (Bulgarian Camp) on the Khane Glacier.
We climbed alpine style from high camp. The first 250 +meters we simul climbed through a 60-65 degree snow/ice couloir and then belayed through mixed terrain to reach the base of the head wall. We then climbed another 500+ meters of run out slab climbing with varying grades between 5.8-5.11. We then reached a point where the rock became featureless and the gear placements non-existent for any aid climbing or bolt placements. The route was forced to end. We then rappelled back to the base and back down the couloir dodging rock from the melting ice. We also attempted a new route on Peak 46 having to retreat because of rain.
Camilo and I spent 20 days in the Khane Valley experiencing both excellent and poor weather conditions. We endured 10 days of down pour rain as well as 10 days of sun. The Khane is a pristine valley full of peaks between 5,000-6,000 meters most remain unclimbed. Only a few climbers have visited this area and explored the potential. We look forward to returning next season and climbing more virgin spires and visiting our new friends in the Khane Village.