A British-Slovenian team consisting of Tom Livingstone, Aleš Česen and Luka Strazar have made the coveted first ascent of Latok I (7145m) in the Pakistan Karakoram from the North. According to early reports from the team, they opted for a safer line on the face in the last quarter, rather than risking an integral ascent of the north ridge. The ascent took 7 days from Base Camp to Base Camp. More details on their line to follow.
A brief message posted on the Choktoi 2018 expedition page on the Planinska Zveza Slovenije (Slovenian Mountain Union) website reads:
Saturday, August 11, 2018
Aleš, Tom and Luka returned to the base a few hours ago, we climbed a new route on the north ridge and went to the top of Latok 1. Next ... sleep.
The route has eluded over 30 expedition teams including top mountaineers since 1978 and was recently the scene of a tragic accident and miraculous rescue, when Sergei Glazunov fell to his death during an abseil and his partner Alexander Gukov was rescued by the Pakistan Army after 6 days stranded on the face in harsh conditions.
The summit of Latok I had only previously been reached once by a Japanese team climbing from the south side in 1979. US alpinist Jeff Lowe - part of the first team to attempt the line in 1978 - described the north ridge of Latok 1 in the Alpinist essay 'Unclimbed' as 'the unfinished business of the last generation.'
This was Tom's first Himalayan expedition.
Watch this space for more information.
Tom successfully applied for a BMC expedition grant and received the highest grade award.