Our line follows the South East ridge, which was attempted by the Bullock Workman party in 1906, the peak was first climbed in 1955 by Karl Kramer's German Expedition. This route is a long snow and ice ridge climb of moderate angles. There are two sections which normally require the use of fixed ropes, these sections are readied by our HAP's (high altitude porters) if no previous team has yet fixed them. The south East Ridge rises 2700m over a lateral distance of 7.6kms. The ridge provides easy angle of mostly less than 30o slopes. In a few sections the ridge steepens to 40 degrees. Wherever necessary these sections will be fixed. The route is an interesting excursion through varied terrain, from rocky outcrops to snow and ice and scree. The upper sections are well defined ridge tops of hard ice culminating in the summit dome. From base camp, the ascent to Camp 1 follows a moderate slope, at first on grass and gravel then up to a rocky ridge with sections of loose scree. Camp 1 is placed on a rock platform just below the snow line (5 hrs climbing). The climb then follows the undulating ridge on snow to a level patch of snow where we place Camp 2 (5 hrs climbing). Above this the slope steepens and anywhere up to 500m of fixed rope will be set between camp 2 and camp 3. The first section of 300-400m will be set on an open 35° slope leading to a large snow platform. After a few hundred meters of easier ground, a second section of 150m will be set as the slope steepens to nearly 40°. Just beyond this, Camp 3 will be placed on a wide snow ledge below the summit slopes (5 hrs climbing). The route to the summit from camp 3 is quite straightforward. A gentle slope rises to a height of 6550m where it steepens to join the SW ridge. This is then followed for 400m at an average angle of 30° until it levels out 100m below the summit. The top of the mountain is a rounded snow dome and 50m of rope may be fixed on the short section leading onto the summit slopes (6-8 hrs ascent/2-3 hrs descent).
HAP's and Strategy: High altitude porters (HAP's) will be engaged to carry the group technical gear (fixed ropes, stakes etc) and some of the team equipment (limited to tents, fuel etc). Team members will carry their own personal equipment, and will need to be self sufficient on the mountain, preparing their own camp sites, food, and participating in load carries where necessary. Notwithstanding that members will do no more load carrying than they require to move their personal equipment and ensure their acclimatization. Additionally, we are looking to assess the viability of ascending this peak in 'capsule style', where only 2 permanent camps are fixed (C2 & C3), and moving constantly up the peak without surrendering height. This style has worked extremely well for us on other 7000m peaks and may be satisfactory for Spantik given certain factors fall into place. Team members should be expectant of the fact that strategies and methodology will not and cannot be formulated prior to arrival at the peak, and that group consensus, team fitness, acclimatization, and weather factors will play roles in the determination of how we climb the mountain.
Our expeditions are great learning opportunities, from both your trip managers and the other climbers around you. Typically half of our team will be setting out on their first major expedition attempt, while the other half could have an experience that spans the globe and includes several 8000m peaks. We do not take applicants from travel agencies, or completely inexperienced people who don't know a crampon from a ruck-sack, you can be assured the people whom you will be climbing with are competent, have prepared themselves for the expedition, and will be there to share with you the excitement of a major life adventure. In general our team members come from USA, Europe, and Australia.
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