The weather forecast was good for the next few days and so the Tagas Expedition Team decided to leave the base at noon on Friday, 4 September. After walking on the glacier up to the height of 5000 metres above sea level, the expedition members reached the campsite from their last attempt and spent the night there. The next day, early in the morning, they continued climbing.
This is what the expedition members say about their adventure: “At first we simul-climbed on hard ice for several hundred metres. Then the steepness increased and we started a static belay first passing a steep ice couloir (up to 80 degrees) and then a few mixed and ice pitches, which led us to a side ridge. We got there at dark and we passed two difficult mixed pitches in the darkness. Due to the late hour, being tired and not knowing the area, we decided to spend the night on a small ledge with no camping equipment, trying to keep warm. Unfortunately, during the night we were surprised by cold wind and intense snowing, which, as it turned out later, was to last for two more days. In the morning it wasn’t easy to make the decision to continue climbing but a nearby ridge made us keep going. After a few pitches, including a very thin and fragile ice layer, we reached a subapical ridge. There it turned out that there was quite a large fault between us and the summit and we had to continue climbing with protection. Finally we reached the snow fields and after passing those, at 15:00 on 6th September, we conquered the summit in thick fog. After taking a few photos we started going back first on a ridge through the fault and then on a rappel. We rapped down in constant snow and dust fall that made us feel even colder. We used mainly Abalakov threads but also a few pickets and anchors. In the middle of the night, at 02:30, chilled to the marrow and exhausted, we were back in our tents. The next day, while it was still snowing, we climbed down to the base camp. Annoyingly enough, the next morning was sunny and the sky was blue.”
The next two weeks the Tagas Expedition Team will spend in a valley in order to conquer two more untouched summits. Fingers crossed!
The expedition is supported by the Polish Mountaineering Association, Jerzy Kukuczka Polish Mountaineering Support Foundation and donors from the PolakPotrafi website.
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