Spantik Peak

Makalu 2001


Cruz del Sur

Patagonia by water


Pamir Alay


Panorami 360°
Location: Hunza Valley, Pakistan
Objective: Golden Pillar, Spantik 7028m. one of the finest and hardest mountains in the world.

- Introduction
- Expedition
- Details
- Map
- Chronology
The expedition

Islamabad, end of May. Manu Guy and Manu Pellissier arrive before the others and handle the burocracy. Pakistan's capital is famous for its… speed.

The group unites and sets off for Chilas. A "North Pakistan" minibus, driven by the friendly Ishaq Ali, takes them down the mythical 'Karakorum Highway'. And away from the unbearable summer temperatures. Next stop Hoppar, reached only via jeep and situated at 2800m. From here they continue on foot for three days to reach Spantik base camp at 4600m.

Spantik by night, Pakistan
Spantik by night.

Islamabad to base camp in just five days means that they have enough time for route. But it leaves little time to acclimatise properly, and the altitude takes its toll. Erik Svab descends and decides, for health reasons, not to return.

Once acclimatised the mountaineers divide into two teams. The first, composed of the Russians Alexander Klenov and Mikhail Davy, hope to forge a new route and therefore adopt a slower climbing style.
The 'international' team, made up of Manu Guy, Manu Pellissier, Atilla Ozsvath and Marko Prezelj opt for a fast "alpine style" repeat of the 1987 English route

The international team set off on 7 June and, after an initial easy section, reach the snowy crest that leads to the center of the face, beneath the steep summit pillar. They encounter 40 -60 degree snow slopes before bivouacking near the top of the slope.

Spantik, Pakistan
Spantik's NW face

They are reached the next day by the two Russians who, carrying far more food, equipment and portaledges, are considerably slower. The weather is poor and they wait, unsuccessfully, for conditions to improve. The international team descends but the Russians remain and start up their new line on the right-hand side of the pillar, to the left of the Saunders/Fowler route.

A break in the weather on 12 June sees the international team leaving base camp once again. They retrace their footsteps to the base of the pillar, where they bivouac for a second time. The next day they start up the route, dry-tooling through its hardest sections and straightening out the line of the original route. One night is spent bivying on the pillar and another right beneath the summit.

The third bivouac is by far the worst: there is no space to set up the tent and they spend the night clipped to the belay. The reach the summit the next day, 15 June, after negotiating a 300m altitude gain spread out over 2 kilometers. They descend immediately, spend one more night on the route and, after 5 days and 4 nights, safely reach base camp

Meanwhile the two Russians continue their climb, despite the initial bad weather, and reach the summit on 18 June. Their new route, with 25 pitches and over 1000m of new climbing, is graded 7a/A3. It is climbed without fixed ropes and bolts.

The team

  Alexander Klenov and Mikhail Davy
37 and 33, from Ekaterinburg, Russia.
They shouldn't really be introduced seperately, since they've successfully spent the last 8 years climbing together. Twice USSR Champions of Alpinism and 4 times Russian Champions of Alpinism

  Manu Guy and Manu Pellissier
27 and 25, from France. Both are UIAGM Mountain Guides and work for the FFME (Fédération Française de la Montagne et de l'Escalade). They have spent the last 8 years climbing all over the world.

  Attila Ozsvàth
44, from Hungary. He has dedicated the last 20 years to alpinism. His most important ascents include a new route on the North Face of Thalay Sagar in 1991.

  Marko Prezelj
34, from Kamnik, Slovenia, Engineer, chemist, photographer, cameraman, great all-round mountaineer. Winner of the 1991 “Piolet d' Or” for his first ascentof the SW Face of Kangchendzenga
(8476 m).

  Erik Svab
29, Italian/Slovenian from Trieste. Speaks seven languages, collaborates with Italian and foreign climbing magazines, radio and TV stations.

"A big thank you to all those who helped make "Spantik 2000" possible, with financial aid and gear.
In particular the FFME, Montura, Grivel, Kong, Lizard, Papi Sport, Simond, La Sportiva, Millet, Cassin, Beal, Alvo Titanium, Manaraga."


Erik Svab
Strada del Friuli 251 - 34136 Trieste (Italy)
Tel: +39-040-44633 - Cell. +39-335-6306067

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