First Ascent of Latok III West Face

Third time's a charm for embattled Russian team

Latok peaks and the Ogre's Thumb

Latok peaks and the Ogre's Thumb     Photo: Ben Tubby/Flickr

A team of four Russian alpinists has recorded the first West-Face ascent of Pakistan's 22,798-foot Latok III.  Alexander Odintsov, Evgeny Dmitrienko, Ivan Dozhdev, and Alex Lonchinsky spent 15 days climbing capsule-style on the 5,580-foot face, in Pakistan's Karkoram range, finally topping out on June 25. The ascent is the culmination of 11 years of work by Odintsov, whose previous bids at climbing the line ended in accidents. In 2000, Odintsov's team was forced to retreat after several members were hurt from rockfall and an avalanche. In 2001, Odintsov returned with a new crew, but was turned back when a falling rock cut climber Igor Barikhin's rope as he was ascending, killing him. The West Face is the ninth out of ten new routes that Odintsov plans to climb as part of his ongoing Big Walls of the World project.

Read more at the British Mountaineering Council

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