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6/28/11 – A Russian expedition has completed the first ascent of the west face of 6,949-meter (22,799-foot) Latok III in Pakistan, nearly 20 years after it was first attempted. Evgeny Dmitrienko, Ivan Dozhdev, Alex Lonchinsky, and Alexander Odintsov climbed the 1,700-meter face in capsule style, from June 10 to 25. Odintsov had attempted the line twice before, in 2000 and 2001. Both of these previous expeditions ended disastrously, with injuries and one death, in 2001, after rockfall cut a rope Igor Barikhin was ascending.
The huge route was previously attempted twice by American expeditions: Greg Collins and Phil Powers in 1992, and Kitty Calhoun, Steve Quinlan, Ken Sauls, and Jay Smith in 1998. Neither team reached higher than 6,350 meters on the enormous mixed climb.
After acclimatizing on a nearby peak this year, the Russians spent more than two weeks on the route, establishing approximately eight different portaledge camps. They summited on June 25 and returned to base camp on June 27.
Date of Ascent: June 2011