Bulgarians climb new 5000m peaks in Pakistanâs Khane Valley
In August 2012 a Bulgarian expedition comprised of Doychin Boyanov, Tervel Kerelov, Michail Michailov and Nikolay Petkov made the first ascents of Levski Peak (5733m) and Grey Tower (5435m) in the Khane Valley, Pakistan.
Pakistan’s little-known Khane Valley offers numerous impressive, unclimbed 5000m peaks and after an exploratory expedition in 2011, a team of Bulgarian alpinists comprised of Doychin Boyanov, Tervel Kerelov, Michail Michailov and Nikolay Petkov returned last August to make first ascents of two virgin peaks, Levski Peak and Grey Tower.
KHANE VALLEY 2012 by Nikolay Petkov
This August we succeeded in climbing two new routes on two of virgin peaks: Levski Peak and Grey Tower. We placed our base camp at the so-called Boulder Base Camp, at 4050m in the middle of First Terrace grassy plain. It is a beautiful, green and flowery spot, near the Khane river and some large boulders. This was our second expedition to Khane valley, after an exploratory expedition in 2011.
Levski Peak, 5733m
West face, 650 m, M6, AI4, 6a
We placed a tent below the face at 5050m, in the icy circus between Peak Sofia, Singu Chatpa (Great Tower), Levski and Rila. Then in two days (one bivouac at 5648m), we climbed 14 pitches with 50m double ropes. We only used only nuts for protection and at about 10 am on August 14 we reached the summit – an ideal rocky pyramid. 10 long rappels led to the snow/ice couloir.
Grey Tower, 5435m
East Ridge, 600 m, AI3 (to the col), 6b, mainly 5c
We placed a tent on the col between Meligo Peak and Grey Tower. Reaching this col from Khane valley is difficult and dangerous because of last 300m (ice, snow and exposed to rock fall, negotiate this early in the morning). 13 pitches lead from here to the summit, mainly easy and moderate climbing, with a couple of 6a+/6b sections. The summit is an ideal rock needle with a 2x3m flat platform on the top with fantastic views in all directions. 11 rappels led to the col, plus 80m down climbing.