Unclimbed in Pakistan: Bulgaria bags Levski and Grey in Khane Valley

Posted: Aug 30, 2012 02:03 am EDT

(Newsdesk) Last week ExplorersWeb reported that Colombian Camilo Lopez and regular partner Anna Pfaff plan to explore and climb new routes in the Khane Valley, home to many unclimbed 5,000 meter peaks and alpine spires in Pakistan.

A few days later word arrived from Skardu about some cool virgin climbs in the valley.

On August 13-14, Nikolay Petkov, Doychin Boyanov and Mihail Mihaylov realized the unclimbed Vasil Levski peak (5733 m).

One week later on Aug 19-20, Petkov and Boyanov ascended the big wall route on the east face of the unclimbed Grey Tower (5434 m).
 
On summiting the virgin towers, the climbers also measured their geometrical altitude with Garmin GPS.

Debrief

Here goes the debrief, straight from the horses' mouths:

Base Camp
"This year we placed our base camp at the so called Boulder Base Camp, 4050 m, in the middle of the First Terrace. It is a beautiful, green and flowery spot, near the river and around some big stones."
 
Levski Peak, 5733 m
West face, 650 m, M6, AI4, 6a

"We made a tent under the wall, at 5050 m, in the icy circus between peak Sofia, Singu Chatpa (Great Tower), Levski and Rila. Then in two days (one bivouac at 5648 m), climbing 14 pitches with 50 m double rope. Used only nuts for protection. At about 10 am on August 14 we reached the summit – an ideal rocky pyramid. Then 10 big rappels to the icy/snowy  couloir."
 
Grey Tower, 5435 m
East Ridge, 600 m, AI3 (to the col), 6b, mainly 5c

"We made a tent on the col between Meligo Peak and Grey Tower. It is difficult and dangerous to reach the col from Khane valley because the last 300 meters are icy, snowy and hit by early morning rock falls."

"From here to the summit are 13 pitches in total, mainly easy and moderate climbing, with one/two sections 6a+/6b. The summit itself is an ideal needle, rocky, with a 2x3 m flat place on the top. Fantastic views in all directions. Then 11 rappels to the col plus 80 m down climbing at one place."

The climbers debriefed from Skardu this past weekend - where they, along with many other foreigners, were stuck waiting for transportation out.

The expedition was supported by Jasmine Tours in Pakistan.
 
The men made a recon trip to the Khane area last year. Find those trip reports at the project website and the AAJ.

Related:

Colombian Camilo Lopez and Anna Pfaff Khane Valley blog

Bulgarian Boyan Petrov's GII debrief: 30 tall meters of honor

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Inching up unclimbed Vasil Levski peak (5733 m).
Image by Nikolay Petkov, Doychin Boyanov and Mihail Mihaylov courtesy www.climbingguidebg.com, SOURCE
The men pitched a tent at 5050 m under the wall. The climb took two days with a bivy at 5648 m.
Image by Nikolay Petkov, Doychin Boyanov and Mihail Mihaylov courtesy www.climbingguidebg.com, SOURCE
14 pitches using only nuts for protection resulted on top - a rocky pyramid - 10 am August 14. It took 10 big rappels back down to the icy/snowy couloir.
Image by Nikolay Petkov, Doychin Boyanov and Mihail Mihaylov courtesy www.climbingguidebg.com, SOURCE
One week later on Aug 19-20, Petkov and Boyanov ascended the big wall on the east face of unclimbed Grey Tower (5434 m).
Image by Nikolay Petkov, Doychin Boyanov courtesy www.climbingguidebg.com, SOURCE
Upper section, one of the last 13 pitches.
Image by Nikolay Petkov, Doychin Boyanov courtesy www.climbingguidebg.com, SOURCE
"The summit itself is an ideal needle, rocky, with a 2x3 m flat place on the top - fantastic views in all directions," reported Petkov and Boyanov.
Image by Nikolay Petkov, Doychin Boyanov courtesy www.climbingguidebg.com, SOURCE