Tagas Expedition 2015 Trip Report

© Tomasz Klimczak

Between 18th August and 2nd October a Polish expedition to the unexplored region of the Tagas Mountains in the Karakoram, Pakistan took place. Tomasz Klimczak reports on a successful trip.

Next arm of Lachit Valley: Ogre and Polish Couloir on left  © Tomasz Klimczak
Next arm of Lachit Valley: Ogre and Polish Couloir on left
© Tomasz Klimczak

The area is located near Lachit Village south of the K6 massif. We were the first expedition that received a permit to enter Lachit Valley as it is under military control.  

Our expedition consisted of four members of the Polish National Team in Alpinism: Tomasz Klimczak, Maciej Bedrejczuk, Marcin Wernik and Maciej Janczar. We knew each other very well having climbed major north faces in the Alps and many winter routes in the Tatra Mountains together. 


During one month stay in BC we explored two arms of the Lachit Valley surrounded by approx. 6000m high beuatiful mountains, taking many pictures and aerial films from the drone. We also managed to climbed two virgin peaks. The first summit was an easy acclimatisation ascent. We named it the Goat Peak 4991m.

Goat Peak
© Tomasz Klimczak

Dream Walker Peak

The second mountain was a real climbing adventure with an unplanned bivi and unexpected weather breakdown. The route was climbed in two days in light OS alpine style without bivi equipment. We proposed the name of peak as Dream Walker Peak 5809m and the name of route Rolling (D)Ice. The crux of route was an AI5 ice pitch with a 15mm unprotected ice layer. Descent followed the route taking 14 abseils from ice threads and pitons plus some down climbing. We reached our advanced basecamp at 5000m in the middle of the night in a constant snowfall.

Dream Walker - fun ice gullies
© Tomasz Klimczak

Rolling D(ice)
© Tomasz Klimczak

Polish Couloir

Our third aim was a mountain seen on the right from our Base Camp. It was a soaring tower difficult from all sides with airy ridges and a pointing summit – the great dream of every alpinist. Because of its character we gave it a working name – the Ogre.  Looking at it from our tents made us lose any doubts that climbing this summit would be the main goal of our expedition and the essence of alpinism which we knew. The Ogre had a promising ice couloir on the north-east face and it was also easily accessible from our BC. We made advanced base camp at 4500m at the foot of the 1.5km high face. We climbed the couloir in 3 days having two sitting bivis on snow ledges. On the third day we reached the saddle at 6004m. Obviously we planned to keep going onto the summit. It was about 3.30pm and the weather went bad. We could not see the ridge laying ahead and decided to check the forecast with the basecamp.

Polish couloir - start of steep ice climbing  © Tomasz Klimczak
Polish couloir - start of steep ice climbing
© Tomasz Klimczak

They warned us on the radio that the next day would be the last day of decent weather. The next day, it was announced that poor weather was to come for the next few days. We needed one full day to get to the summit and return to the saddle. That meant we would have to abseil down our couloir in heavy snowfall being exposed to avalanches. There was really no choice. We started to abseil and late at night we reached our first bivi. The following day we continued abseiling and reached the glacier in the afternoon making a total of 27 abseils from the saddle. At about 17.30 we reached our BC.

Polish Couloir - looking down from the upper section  © Tomasz Klimczak
Polish Couloir - looking down from the upper section
© Tomasz Klimczak

On the same night it started to snow heavily and continued for the next couple of days. We did not see the mountains but could hear a roar of avalanches every few minutes. It made us confident we made a wise choice up there at the saddle. After the weather improved we went to look for our tents on the glacier. We found them fully covered with snow, with broken poles.

The route was called “Polish Couloir” and ended at the saddle. The summit of the Ogre is still unclimbed. 


Polish couloir topo  © Tomasz Klimczak
Polish couloir topo
© Tomasz Klimczak

After this route, winter came to the Karakoram and our expedition ended. During our stay we saw many beautiful peaks awaiting first ascents. The character of the mountains resembles alpine climbing including some fun ice, mixed and DT sections. We believe Lachit Valley has great potential to host further expeditions offering unforgettable mountain adventures.

Polish Couloir  © Tomasz Klimczak
Polish Couloir
© Tomasz Klimczak

Support UKC

As climbers we strive to make UKClimbing the kind of website we would love to visit, with the most up-to-date news, diverse and interesting articles, comprehensive gear reviews, breathtaking photographs and a vast and useful logbook system. As a result, an incredible community has formed around the site - we’ve provided the framework but it’s you who make the website what it is today. If you appreciate the content we offer then you can help us by becoming an official UKC Supporter. This can be a one-off single annual payment or a more substantial payment paid monthly or yearly which includes full access to Rockfax Digital and discounts on Rockfax print publications.

If you appreciate UKClimbing then please help us by becoming a UKC Supporter.

UKC Supporter

  • Support the website we all know and love
  • Access to a year's subscription to Rockfax Digital.
  • Plus 30% off Rockfax guidebooks
  • Plus Show your support UKC porter badge on your profile and forum posts
UKC/UKH/Rockfax logo

25 Nov, 2015
Lovely, simple, well written article. Thanks guys and well done. 😀
25 Nov, 2015
Very good, thanks, and useful pics.
Loading Notifications...
Facebook Twitter Copy Email