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Full Latok I North Ridge May Still Be Unclimbed

Latok I North Ridge is one of the biggest objectives in the world of alpine climbing and nearly every online climbing news source reported yesterday that the ridge had been climbed.

But we might have all gotten it wrong, as we await for news from the team who reportedly climbed the ridge, we’ve heard rumours that they didn’t complete it in its entirety.

An Instagram post below noted that the team had climbed the peak from the north, but did not say the North Ridge.

From a reliable source close to the team of British climber Tom Livingstone and Slovenians Luka Strazar and Ales Cesen, their seven day climb did not go directly up the North Ridge.

Instead, the three top climbers traversed from two-thirds of the way up and deviated towards the col between Latok I and Latok II. From their, they continued up the south side to the summit.

This means the team is still the second to reach the top after the 1979 ascent by six Japanese climbers and they did climb a new route.

However, the full North Ridge of Latok I remains unclimbed to the summit.

Also of note is that Russian climbers Sergey Glazunov and Alex Gukov might have reached the top of the North Ridge and stood on the lower summit tower, so not the true summit but possibly at the top of the North Ridge.

Glazunov died on the way down and Gukov was stranded until a helicopter rescue many days later.

In conclusion, it looks like there’s a lot of facts that still need to be sorted out. Here are stories by other climbing media about the ascent:

Rock and Ice: Latok I Finally Climbed By North Ridge

Outside Online: Climbers Have Finally Conquered Latok’s North Ridge

Planet Mountain: Latok I North Ridge finally climbed after 40 years by Aleš Česen, Luka Stražar, Tom Livingstone

UK Climbing: Latok I North Ridge line by Livingstone, Česen and Strazar.

In 1978, an American team consisting of Jim Donini, Michael Kennedy, George Lowe and Jeff Lowe almost reached the top, but had to descend. In a story for the American Alpine Journal, Michael Kennedy wrote, “Jeff had been somewhat sick since we had arrived at the snow cave and the summit try had really put him under. He became very ill, so ill that we feared for his life. Almost out of food and fuel in the continuing storm, we knew that we would have to spend one, or perhaps two nights out in the open on the descent. Could Jeff survive it?”

Below is a potential line taken by Livingstone, Strazar and Cesen based on the reports.

Latok I 2018 possible ascent line Photo Guide Bormio

While the facts are still being sorted out, a team including Thomas Huber is currently heading to Latok I.

He and his team have not said what line they will attempt, but it sounds like the North Ridge and/or north face are possible objectives.

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