Young Slovenian alpinists Aleš Česen (34) and Luka Lindič (28) have summitted Broad Peak (8047m) and made the fourth ascent of the North Summit (7900m) of Gasherbrum IV via the mountain's Northwest Ridge in the Karakoram Himalaya.
The first climbers to reach the 8047m Broad Peak summit this season, the pair set up base camp on 29th June and summitted on 12th July following two acclimatisation ascents to 5700m and 7000m, spending a night at both camps and reaching the summit after a brief rest period.
Initially intending to attempt the West Face of Gasherbrum IV - also known as the Shining Wall - poor conditions forced Aleš and Luka to consider the Northwest ridge as an alternative. The three-day ascent - beginning on 23rd July and summitting on 26th July - is believed to be only the fourth in history, although only two of the four successful teams have reached the Main Summit via the Northwest Ridge, which stands marginally higher than the North Summit at an altitude of 7925m.
Arduous conditions involving heavy snow delayed their descent by two days, the climbers arriving back at base camp on 28th July.
A last great Himalayan problem of its era, Gasherbrum IV Northwest Ridge was first climbed by Australians Greg Child and Tim Macartney alongside US climber Tom Hargis in 1986. Until this latest Slovenian ascent, the ridge had seen repeats by Korean and Spanish teams in 1999 and 2008, with the latter team reaching a sub-peak between the North and Main Peaks.
Regarded as the most promising young Slovenian alpinists of their generation, Aleš and Luka add Gasherbrum IV to a growing list of Himalayan ascents. In 2014, the pair made the first ascent of the North Face of Hagshu (6515m) alongside compatriot Marko Prezelj. In the same year, Luka and fellow Slovenian Luka Krajnc made an 'alpine ascent of the season' with an onsight and first free ascent of Rolling Stones on the north face of the Grandes Jorasses, Mont Blanc Massif (UKC News Report). Aleš is the son of Tomo Česen, renowned Slovenian alpinist and international routesetter who famously claimed controversial solo ascents in the Alps and Himalayas.
Aleš Cesen is sponsored by: Kailas