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Nejc Marčič and Luka Stražar and, in the background, the K7 West (6934m) Charakusa valley, (Karakoram, Himalaya).
Photo by Expedition Charakusa 2011
The Slovenian line of ascent up K7 West (6934m) Charakusa valley, (Karakoram, Himalaya) via the route Sanjači zlatih jam (VI/5, M5, A2, 1600m, Nejc Marčič, Luka Stražar 09/2011).
Photo by Expedition Charakusa 2011
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Super slovenian new route on K7

03.10.2011 by Planetmountain

Slovenian alpinists Urban Novak, David Debeljak, Luka Strazar and Nejc Marcic have established Dreamers of the Golden Caves up the K7 (6934m) in the Charakusa valley, (Karakoram, Himalaya).

Talk about Himalayan baptism of fire:  at the beginning of September a small team of young Slovenian  alpinists led by Urban Novak travelled to the Charakusa valley where they carried out a series of climbs including an impressive, fast ascent of K7 via a massive 1600m high line.

The direct new route is called Sanjači zlatih jam and was was climbed alpine style by 22-year-old Luka Stražar and 26-year-old Nejc Marčič from 6 - 9 September past difficulties estimated at VI/5, M5, A2, 1600m.

After the ascent Luka stated "We climbed the route in 4 days. The lower part was mainly ice and upper part was mainly rocky passes and mixed climbing. We tried to climb on the ridge as much as possible  because of the presence of overhanging seracs. We started from the base at 3 a.m., which was followed by 2 hours approach over scree, followed by climbing snow and ice until the first bivy on the ridge at 7:30 p.m. The next day was technically the most demanding and consisted mainly in mixed climbing. It was harder than we’d expected. On this day we only climbed 250m and set up our bivy on the ridge.  The next day we figured that continuing the planed path with our gear would not be possible in the given situation so we passed around the rocky upper part to the right of the ridge and continued under the seracs. We topped out at 9 a.m. and descended to bivy No. 1. We continued our descent to the base camp the following day in bad weather. The weather was (except for the last day) perfect."

The new route is only the second to reach the summit of K7 West, after the line climbed by Marko Prezelj, Steve House and Vince Anderson in 2007. On their return to Slovenia Prezelj stated "I congratulate the boys, for they were really active during the expedition. A new route on K7W is an excellent  achievement – and only the second one to top out on its summit. Charakusa offers a wide range of climbing  choices and it is therefore of great importance to choose the optimum line in the given conditions. I am really glad about the success of the young generation, since it shows that classical alpinism still has its place in the future."

For the record, Sanjači zlatih jam translates as Dreamers of golden caves. Stražar explained "We, young guys, are often without money and thus often dream of golden caves."


Charakusa 2011 expedition:
Urban Novak (25, expedition leader), David Debeljak (26), Luka Stražar (22) and Nejc Marčič (26).

Climbs carried out during 2011 expedition:
- Iqban wall ridge over the base – Nejc Marčič and David Debeljak,
- Nayser Brakk (5200 m), British route – all members,
- pillar to the left of Nayser Brakk, repeat of Marko Prezelj, Vince Anderson and Steve House 2007 route with a
variation (upper 300 m) – Nejc Marčič and Urban Novak,
- a ridge right of Nayser Brakk, ridge route – Luka Stražar and Urban Novak,
- Sulu Peak (5950 m) – all members,
- Beatrice (5800 m) – Nejc Marčič, Urban Novak and Luka Stražar,
- K7 West, Sanjači zlatih jam (Dreamers of golden caves), first ascent– Luka Stražar and Nejc Marčič,
- Iqban wall, the first dihedral on the left side of the wall – David Debeljak and Urban 

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