Hindu Kush: Georgian Trio Push on Unclimbed Saraghrar NW

Flying under the radar, Georgian climbers Archil Badriashvili, Baqar Gelashvili, and Giorgi Tepnadze have spent the last three weeks on the highly difficult Saraghrar NW. At 7,300m, it’s the only unclimbed summit remaining in the broad Saraghrar massif.

The three Georgians before setting off for the Hindu Kush. Photo: Terichmir Travels

 

The climbers arrived in Pakistan on August 16 and may already have started their summit push. While details are sketchy, the climber’s route follows steep, mainly rocky terrain. This may be similar to the line attempted by Jordi Pons of Spain in 1977 up a rocky spur. For those fond of old mountain movies, here is a documentary about that past attempt.

The rocky face of Saraghar, featuring the long spur attempted three times by Catalan teams. Screenshot from Jordi Pons’ 1977 video.

 

The team’s outfitter, Terichmir Travels, said that Saraghrar NW is “one of the highest and most difficult rock walls in the world…The technical difficulties of the wall do not decrease anywhere on this great buttress.”

Saraghrar’s highest point, and the fourth tallest summit in the Hindu Kush, is the NE summit, at 7,340m [according to Wikipedia, although other sources cite different altitudes]. An Italian team led by Fosco Mariani first climbed it in 1959 from the Niroghi Glacier.
The three Georgians currently on the mountain summited Nanga Parbat on a previous visit to Pakistan in 2019. But Badriashvili, Gelashvili, and Tepnadze prefer to seek out unclimbed peaks, such as Pangpoche I (6,620m) and Pangpoche II (6,504m) in the Manaslu region. They climbed both in fall 2019.
Last year, Badriashvili and Tepnadze opened a hard new route (1,700m, 6a/b, A4, UIAA VI/VII) on the NW face of Ushba in the Caucasus, as reported by Desnivel.

Senior journalist, published author and communication consultant. Specialized on high-altitude mountaineering, with an interest for everything around the mountains: from economics to geopolitics. After five years exploring distant professional ranges, I returned to ExWeb BC in 2018. Feeling right at home since then!


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Carlos Garranzo
Carlos Garranzo
7 months ago

A very tough climb, no doubt. I hope they are successful and tell us about it as soon as they can.

Pin
Pin
7 months ago

En. 1982 fue escalado por un equipo de jóvenes catalanes. Ninguno de ellos llegaba a los 30 años de edad.
En la cima estuvieron Nil Bohigas, Enric Lucas y Juan López.

Victoria
7 months ago
Reply to  Pin

Los archivos dicen que alcanzaron la cumbre Noroeste II (7200m), la principal, de 7.300m, creo que consta como inescalada. Se puede ver el documental en https://www.mntnfilm.com/ca/p/cerca-geografica/climb:saraghrar, muy bueno, con esquemas de la ruta e imágenes de la época.

Jordi Colomer
Jordi Colomer
7 months ago
Reply to  Victoria

Es correcto. Nosotros en las dos expediciones 1975 y 1977, superamos los 6.300 mt, però era dificil i largo. En 1982, nuestros compañeros alcanzaron el Saraghrar NW II (7.200 mt) Felicidades a los escaladores Georgianos por alcanzar la cumbre del Saraghrar NW. Una gran paret.!! Saludos. Jordi Colomer. (Barcelona)

Jordi Colomer
Jordi Colomer
5 months ago
Reply to  Pin

Hola PIN, LLegaron a una antecima por la arista de roca. Una larga historia…muy interesante. Jordi Colomer i Gallego (Expedicion Saraghrar 1975 y 1977)

Jordi Colomer
Jordi Colomer
7 months ago

After two expeditions 1975 and 1977, we do not arribe at Saraghrar NW (7,300mt) top. It was very dificilt and very long climb. Congratulations to clibers whu succesful this range.!!! Jordi Colomer (Barcelona)