Polish climber Andrzej Bargiel and Yendrek Baranowski have made the first ascent of Yawash Sar II (6,178 m) in Pakistan then skied the huge west face. Bargiel made the first ski descent of K2 in July 2018.
Everything went according to plan on Yawash Sar II, after he left the camp around 4 a.m. and reached the summit seven hours, and 10 kilometres, later. Bargiel is currently on his Karakoram Ski Expedition, which is mean to climb and ski two 6,000-metre peaks. Yawash Sar II was a success, now Bargiel will take on Laila Peak (6,096 m)in the Hushe Valley.
“On the way to Yawash Sar II, we cross the pass, which lies at an altitude of about 5000 m, which gives us a better, calmer acclimatisation. The trek to the base camp to this summit takes three or four days, and we would reach Laila Peak very quickly, which would be disadvantageous from the point of view of acclimatisation,” Bargiel said before the trip. “It seems to me that these peaks are similar, the difficulty will be comparable – both climbing and skiing. We will be accompanied by the spirit of exploration, which is what I appreciate in the mountains. The choice for the first of the peaks was made after talks with Janusz Majer, a person who has enormous, priceless topographic and mountain knowledge. It’s great that you can still find such mountains. Laila is a spectacular and soaring peak.”
The summits of Yawash Sar (I, 6,258 m; II, 6,125 m; and III, 6,060 m) are the most prominent summits of the Khunjerab Subgroup. The naming of these peaks, like the glaciers on their northern flanks, comes from the Yawash Jilga River in China and Pakistan. Yawash I and II had been attempted a number of times since 2011, when a small expedition led by Janusz Majer and Krzysztof Wielicki published photos from the north.
According to the American Alpine Journal, in 2012, Frank Gasser and Birgit Walk climbed Yawash Sar Middle (5,786m) from the Ghidims Valley to the south. Their goal had been Yawash Sar I (6,258m) but Gasser confused the approach valleys. He returned in 2014 and, following the correct valley, was able to make an unsuccessful attempt on Yawash Sar I. And then in 2018, Krzysztof Wielicki led an 11-member group to the Ghidims Valley. This group included Gasser and a high-altitude porter from Shimshal named Jalal Uddin. Base camp was at 4,900 metres on a lateral moraine of the North Ghidims Glacier. During the acclimatization phase, Gasser made two solo attempts on Yawash Sar I, reaching 5,800 m.
Then on August 18, Wielicki, Katarzyna Karwecka-Wielicka and Jalal Uddin camped below the west face of Yawash Sar II. Karwecka-Wielicka became ill, so Wielicki and Uddin made an attempt on the face, with the idea to fix part of the route. They reached 5,800 metres, but due to lack of rope decided to retreat.