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Khani Basa SarKarakoram, PAKISTAN
Climbs 1 – Rocktype Crumbly rubbish – Altitude 6441m a.s.l – Faces all
Because Khani Basa Sar is not visible from the northern side of the Hispar Glacier few people have set eyes on the peak. This may partly explain why the peak has received so few attempts. The lack of attempts is also no doubt due to the fact that the mountain offers no easy lines of ascent. I attempted a route from the East Jutmo glacier with Peter Thompson which appeared to me to have the most potential. Besides our attempt on the mountain there are no other official attempts. Throughout the Karakoram there have been many illegal ascents over the years and there maybe previous attempts on Khani Basa Sar that I am not aware of.
The route that I took up followed the East Jutmo glacier eastwards to a col at around 5600m. From here the attempt was abandoned as the southeast ridge which extended from the col to the summit looked extremely knife-edge and dangerous.
The mountain also appears to have some weird anatomy. From one perspective it appeared that the southeast ridge had two summits with a dip in the middle. Satalite mapping also shows this with a first peak approximately 80m below the higher with an approximate 200m drop between the two peaks.
One of the main problems with climbing Khani Basa Sar is the poor rock quality. Never have I encountered a mountain with so much rock falling off it. A number of couloirs on the southern side of the mountain would potentially make excellent routes were it not for the fact that huge amounts of rock continually falls down them. There is a particularly impressive steep broad couloir on the south-western aspect of the mountain that rises to a point just south of the main summit. Unfortunately this also receives a lot of rock fall. Due to poor rock quality trad climbing gear is virtually useless meaning the southeast ridge I declined to follow would offer little protection. Officially the Himalayan chain is slowly rising however I believe that Khani Basa Sar is slowly falling down!
Khani Basa Sar is a beautiful mountain however. The eastern face of the mountain is a steep mixed rock wall that extends from the glacier all the way to the summit without change in gradient and may have inspired the Khani Basa Glacier to be named after the peak. The southern and eastern aspects of the mountain also contain impressive rock buttresses and shear cliffs. Unfortunately I have not seen the northern side of the mountain and therefore cannot comment upon it. I imagine few people have visited the North-Eastern Jutmo Glacier.
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