Latok

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Latok I
Latok Peaks and the Ogres thumb (225912483).jpg
Latok Peaks and the Ogres thumb
Highest point
Elevation 7,145 m (23,442 ft) [1]
Prominence 1,475 m (4,839 ft) [1]
Coordinates 35°55′41″N 75°49′21″E / 35.9280°N 75.8225°E / 35.9280; 75.8225
Geography
Location Northern Areas, Pakistan
Parent range Panmah Muztagh, Karakoram
Climbing
First ascent July 19, 1979 by Sin'e Matsumi, Tsuneo Shigehiro, Yu Watanabe[2]
Easiest route East Ridge from south side

The Latok group is a small cluster of dramatic rock peaks in the Panmah Muztagh, part of the central Karakoram mountain range in Pakistan. They lie just to the east of the Ogre group, dominated by Baintha Brakk. To the immediate south of the Latok group lies the Baintha Lukpar Glacier, a small tributary of the Biafo Glacier, one of the main glaciers of the Karakoram. On the north side of the group lies the Choktoi Glacier.

The group comprises four main summits, each listed here with its relative position in the group, elevation,[1] and first ascent date:

  • Latok I, north-central, 7,145 m, climbed 1979
  • Latok II, west, 7,108 m, climbed 1977
  • Latok III, east, 6,949 m, climbed 1979
  • Latok IV, southeast, 6,456 m, climbed 1980

All of the summits are notable for their extreme technical difficulty, and they have been the scene of some of the hardest climbing done at high altitude anywhere in the world.

Latok II
Highest point
Elevation 7,108 m (23,320 ft) [1]
Prominence 1,475 metres (4,839 ft)
Coordinates 35°55′12″N 75°48′09″E / 35.9200°N 75.8025°E / 35.9200; 75.8025
Geography
Location Northern Areas, Pakistan
Parent range Panmah Muztagh, Karakoram
Climbing
First ascent 1977 by Ezio Alimonta, Toni Masé, Renato Valentini[3]
Easiest route Southeast Buttress

Latok I was first climbed in 1979 by a Japanese expedition led by Naoki Takada; the first summit party comprised Sin'e Matsumi, Tsuneo Shigehiro, Yu Watanabe, and they were followed three days later by Hideo Muto, Jun'ichi Oku, and Kota Endo. They started from the Baintha Lukpar Glacier and climbed a buttress to reach the East Ridge.

The steep North Ridge of Latok I, 2,500 m (8,200 ft) high, is a notorious unclimbed route: it was first attempted, and almost successfully climbed, by the noted American climbers Jim Donini, Michael Kennedy, George Lowe, and Jeff Lowe. The lightweight style of this climb was widely admired, despite the lack of a summit. Many unsuccessful attempts have followed.[4]

Latok III
Highest point
Elevation 6,949 m (22,799 ft) [1]
Prominence 1,475 metres (4,839 ft)
Coordinates 35°55′13″N 75°50′23″E / 35.9204°N 75.8396°E / 35.9204; 75.8396
Geography
Location Northern Areas, Pakistan
Parent range Panmah Muztagh, Karakoram
Climbing
First ascent July 15, 1979 by Yoji Teranishi, Kazushige Takami, Sakae Mori[2]
Easiest route Southwest Ridge

Latok II saw its first ascent in 1977, by an Italian group led by Arturo Bergamaschi. (This was the first successful ascent in the group.) They climbed the southeast face of the peak, and Ezio Alimonta, Toni Masé and Renato Valentini made the summit.[3]

A notable recent ascent of Latok II came in 1997, when a very strong team composed of Alexander Huber, Thomas Huber, Toni Gutsch, and Conrad Anker climbed the sheer West Face of the peak. They described this aptly as putting "El Capitan on top of Denali": a 1,000 m (3,280 ft) vertical rock wall with a base at 6,100 m (20,000 ft) elevation. The total vertical for the climb was 2,200 m (7,200 ft).[5]

The first ascent of Latok III came in 1979, when a Japanese team under the leadership of Yoji Teranishi climbed the Southwest Ridge route. They climbed the Southwest Ridge, and the summit party were Teranishi, Kazushige Takami, and Sakae Mori.[2] The second ascent, via the same route, came in 1988, by an Italian party. This was in fact the first repeat ascent of any peak in the group.[4]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e Heights in this article are taken from the map Karakoram, 1:250,000, Swiss Foundation for Alpine Research. A survey under the leadership of Professor Arturo Bergamaschi gives the heights as follows:
    • Latok I: 7,086 m
    • Latok II: 7,151 m
    • Latok III: 6,860 m
    Bergamaschi proposed that the designations of Latok I and Latok II be switched; however, most sources continue to refer to the central peak as Latok I and the western peak as Latok II, as does this article. See the American Alpine Journal, 1998, pp. 320-321. If Professor Bergamaschi's results are correct, then Latok II is the highest of the group, and would have a prominence of approximately 1,481 m; the prominence of Latok I would be greatly reduced.
  2. ^ a b c American Alpine Journal, 1980, 647-648
  3. ^ a b Jill Neate, High Asia: An Illustrated History of the 7000 Metre Peaks, ISBN 0-89886-238-8
  4. ^ a b Andy Fanshawe and Stephen Venables, Himalaya Alpine-Style, Hodder and Stoughton, 1995, ISBN 0-340-64931-3
  5. ^ American Alpine Journal, 1998, 34-43