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The North Face of Gasherbrum II (the pointy peak in the right-center), climbed by an Italian team via the partially shadowed rock spur at the bottom, then angling left to a snow plateau at around 6,000 meters, followed by 2,000 meters of snow and ice climbing to the top. Photo courtesy of www.montangna.tv.
Daniele Bernasconi and Karl Unterkircher summited 8,035-meter Gasherbrum II on July 20, completing a new route up a prominent 3,000-meter spur on the peak’s unclimbed North Face. A third member of the Italian team, Michele Compagnoni, turned back just 150 meters below the top.
The trio fixed about 1,200 meters of rope while overcoming a rocky spur in the lower part of the face. During their final summit push, they climbed from advanced base camp to a bivy at around 7,000 meters, then reached the top at 8 p.m. the next day. The two summiters descended via the normal route on the southwest ridge, meeting Compagnoni en route.
A Swiss-led team had hoped to climb this line in 2006, but in the face of severe avalanche danger they switched to neighboring Gasherbrum East and climbed a 3,000-meter new route on that peak’s north side.
In May of this year, Unterkircher and Hans Kammerlander made the first ascent of the south face of 7,350-meter Jasemba in Nepal.
Date of Ascent: Summit reached July 20, 2007