Americans Bag World's 2nd-Highest Unclimbed Peak

The south face of Saser Kangri II (7,513m), with the line attempted in 2009 by an American-Anglo team. This year, Mark Richey, Steve Swenson, and Freddie Wilkinson climbed the face to the top. Photo by Mark Richey

8/29/11 - Mark Richey, Steve Swenson, and Freddie Wilkinson have climbed the east peak of Saser Kangri II in the Eastern Karakoram mountains of India's Kashmir region. This was believed to be the second-highest unclimbed peak in the world, at 7,513 meters (24,649 feet). Details of the climb are not yet available, but the American team planned to attempt the same route up the south face tried in 2009 by Richey, Swenson, Mark Wilford, and Briton Jim Lowther.

During the descent from this year's successful climb, Swenson, the president of the American Alpine Club, experienced breathing trouble. In a rescue coordinated by AAC partner Global Rescue, the Indian military sent a helicopter to recover Swenson from advanced base camp at 5,800m (19,028'). Swenson was flown to Leh, where his condition quickly improved.

More information about this significant ascent will be provided as soon as it becomes available. In the 2009 attempt, the four climbers ascended the face for three days before cold, windy weather sent them down on the fourth day.

Date of Ascent: August 2011

Sources: American Alpine Club,, American Alpine Journal


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