Notable First Ascent in Kashmir

Alpine Club pres. hospitalized in descent

Karokoram mountain range

Karokoram mountain range     Photo: Baldiri/Wikimedia

An expedition of three American climbers recorded the first ascent of India's Saser Kangri II last week, the world's second-highest unclimbed mountain. At 24,665-feet, the peak sits in the eastern Karakoram range in the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir and has seen several unsuccessful summit bids, including an expedition in 2009 that included Steve Swenson, the current president of the American Alpine Club. Swenson became gravely ill as the team, which included Swenson, former club president Mark Richey, and author Freddie Wilkinson, descended from the summit. He was evacuated by helicopter on Friday from the group's advanced base camp at more than 19,000 feet and later recovered at hospital in India. The world's highest unclimbed mountain is believed to be Bhutan's Gangkhar Puensum, a 24,800-foot peak that is closed to climbing for religious reasons.

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