Posted on: December 1, 2004

Luca “Rampikino” Maspeson Pitch 19 of Luna Caprese (5.11c, 1000m) on the Chogolisa Shield, Karakoram Range, Pakistan. The route was climbed all free, onsight, without bolts, alpine style with one bivouac. [Photo] Giovanni Pagnoncelli

Maurizio Giordani, Ezio Marlier, Herve Barmasse, Nancy Paoletto, Giovanni Pagnoncelli and I had a simple idea. We comprised a small group without prefixed goals that wanted to explore and to climb as we do in the Alps. Our idea to go into the Kondus and Saltoro valleys was denied by the Pakistani government a month before leaving. Change of plan: we moved to the Hushe area, where we had climbed eight new routes in 1998 and 1999.

Two days of trekking brought us to the Chogolisa Glacier, where we climbed four new routes on virgin or nearly virgin mountains. On June 6, Giordani, Paoletto and I climbed a new route (800 meters of snow plus nine pitches of rock and mixed up to 5.10a) on the southwest face/west ridge of Peak 5300. (Barmasse, Marlier and Pagnoncelli stopped two pitches from the summit.) On Chogolisa Catedral, on June 13, Marlier, Pagnoncelli and I made the first ascent (5.9 A1, 300m) of the Pilastro Kekka (4500m). Four days later, Barmasse and Giordani made the first ascent of Sheep Peak (ca. 6000m) via the South Face (snow and two mixed pitches, 1200m). Finally, from June 28-29, Barmasse, Pagnoncelli and I made the first ascent of Luna Caprese (5.11c, 1000m) on the the Chogolisa Shield (ca. 5200m) all free, onsight, without bolts, alpine style with one bivouac. All the new routes were climbed in alpine style. We found signs of only two groups that had preceded us, one (English?) on Peak 5300, and some anchors on the southwest ridge of the Chogolisa Shield.


— Luca "Rampikino" Maspes, Val Masino, Italy

Editor's Note: The Chogolisa Shield is actually Raven's Pyramid (5300m). The Italian line resembles one that Pat Littlejohn and Mick Hardwick climbed in 1987 and graded British 5c. At the top, the Italians went to the left of Littlejohn and Hardwick's route.

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