We decided on this destination because there are no climbing permits or bureaucracy problems that are so typical for the rest of the Indian Himalaya. The area is getting more and more explored, but there are still some very interesting walls with no or only a few climbing routes to-date.
We traveled as simply as possible and arrived in Tingrit, a small village at the end of road in Miyar Nala (Valley) on September 8. After a two day foot approach with two horses for our stuff, we came to base camp under Castle Peak in a mix of rain and snow. The next three weeks had plenty of unstable and bad weather, but also two nice spells.
On September 16, we climbed the east ridge of a rounded mountain we called Toro Peak (ca. 4850m) for acclimatization. We called our route Toro Ridge (V+, 300m) The peak has already been climbed and has a hiking ascent option. We returned to base camp but decided to go for another acclimatization climb after a day of rest.
We made an afternoon approach to the base of the mountain and took a short bivouac under boulder. In the night, we climbed 500 meters of a loose gully and with the first sun beams, we started climbing maybe the most aesthetic peak in the area. A perfect right-angled ridge leading to the summit, with a huge window of rock at the top. After some 500 meters of climbing, we were surprised by old slings, as we thought we were climbing an untouched line. A bit angry, we continued climbing. The last pitch to the arch, which formed the top of the peak, was seriously rotten and loose and was the crux of this route. In the early afternoon, we happily rose up our hands on a perfect summit. We were even happier when we didn't find any rappel slings on the summit.
After returning home, we read a new AAJ report about an unfinished Canadian try on more or less the same line. This provided confirmation that we were the first people on this summit. So we named the peak Korklum Gou-Window Peak (ca. 5600m) and the route Shangrila Ridge (VII R, 600m) After that climb we spent five rainy and snowy days in base camp with Slovak climbers Andy and Juraj. The temperatures fall significantly and a lot of fresh snow accumulated on the upper walls. After weather got better we decided to move to the Tawa Glacier side valley, to advance base camp under Neverseen Tower. The approach to this advanced base camp is almost 1000 meters in altitude gain, and half of it is wandering on an unstable glacial moraine. Fresh snow on moving and slippery moraine stones made walking very hard and dangerous. Even south facing, steep walls like Neverseen were plastered in snow. So we decided to stop on the glacier and wait until the walls got clear of snow.
So as not to lose time in such a nice weather, we decided to climb a nice three-tower east ridge opposite our temporary camp. But it was snowing again all night and we waited one more day so that our secondary climb could dry. Then, on September 29, we finally climbed Trident Ridge (VII/VII+, 500m) on a virgin peak we called Premsingh Peak (ca. 5200m). It was enormously cold--for rock climbing--even in the sun, and it became clear to us that our wish of climbing Neverseen is not a suitable option. With only few days left, we returned and on October 1, we climbed our last route on the rock tower David's 62 Nose (cca. 4950m) on Castle Peak's south face. We called our route Lufoo Lam-Windy Way (VII+, 350m). This tower was already climbed by Italians.
Putting everything together, climbing in this remote and un-crowded valley was great adventure. It is nice to move around without any control--no officers-- and to deal only with very hospitable local Buddhist people. The climbing itself was really enjoyable because of the featured migmatitic rock. It is something between granite and gneiss, and is much more solid as it looks. We used only removable protection and left only a few rappel slings on the mountains to keep the area as adventurous as possible. We really enjoyed climbing our four new routes, on two virgin peaks, but our wish of climbing something new on Neverseen remains a wish. I suggest the late summer season is probably not the best time for rock climbing in this area because of low temperatures. There is still something worth to climb and a lot worth to explore in this region.