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New Route on Kapura in Nangma Valley

Never Ending Dreams climbs to Kapura's south summit for first ascent

The mountain was first climbed in 2004 by Steve House, Marko Prezelj, Doug Chabot, Bruce Miller and Steve Swenson on the Charakusa side. They reached the main summit of Kapura, following an 1,100 m route, 5.8, M5, with 90-degree ice.

Also from Charakusa side in 2009 Marek Holecek and Jan Doudlebsky climbed Wild Wings, 1,300m, WI5+ M7, 70-degree ice, reaching another of Kapura’s summits.

From Daniela Teixeira:

It was our first trip to Nangma Valley and we had no exact objective in mind, although we aimed to climb a new mountain route in light-style or at least some new rock route on the big-walls. In our investigations before the departure, we did not find any information or photos of the most inner part of the valley, so our expectations were high.

On our first reconnaissance trip, we found our goal. At the bottom of the last glacier, on the left side of K6 a beautiful peak with an amazingly elegant spur leading all the way to the top of Kapura South. It became our dream route. It looked a line with no apparent objective hazards like seracs, avalanche-prone-slopes or rock fall.

Between August 25th and 27th we made our first acclimatization trip, where we explored the glacier and found a straightforward way to Kapura’s foot. Only an hour and a half to cross the glacier!

On the next day, we started to climb the first part of the route leading to an evident col on the southwest spur of the mountain, where we left a small food deposit. We easily scrambled the first 200m and after that we climbed six pitches of ice, snow and easy mixed climbing.

Rappelling down, with the sun hitting the wall, we realized there were two dangerous passages, two traverse pitches extremely exposed to permanent rock fall. To be safer, in the ascent we would cross these sections at night.

We knew that this first climb and acclimatization on the route would invalidate a proper alpine style ascent. Nevertheless, we did not fix a single metre of rope.

After some days of bad weather, we had the information that from September fifth to eleventh the weather would be perfect, a lot of sun and almost no wind.

On the fifth, we left base camp reaching the tent in the glacier, at the base of Kapura in about five hours.

On the next day, at 3 a.m. we left the glacier and carried the bivy tent and all gear all the way through the first 500m of the route, repeating the recognized line to the col, which we named after the name of our son’s cook – Alam’s col, 5,700m.

At the col, we barely manage to build a pretty decent platform to place our small bivy and, always attached to the ropes, we rested for some hours to prepare the summit attempt.

At 6 p.m. we reached the unclimbed south summit of Kapura, and calculated an approximated altitude of 6,350 m. We did not have GPS to check the actual altitude, so we estimated it later, comparing the altitude of the main summit of Kapura, 6,544m, with the one we climbed, and considering the length of our line of ascent and the medium slope angle.

On our descent we left slings on abalakovs and some pitons on the rock band, glad we could find decent cracks during the night.

At 3:15 a.m we reached our bivy at Alam’s col, 25-hours and 45-minutes after starting.

Thirsty and tired, we decided to relax for the rest of the day, and at 3:30 a.m. (to avoid rock falling danger between Alam’s col and the glacier) on the September ninth we started the descent to base camp, which we reached at 11:30 a.m.

On the way, our cook Altaf was waiting for us at the end of the glacier, and we found out that he spent all of the summit day looking at the mountain with binoculars, following us all the way to the top, his eyes were still red.

We called this new route Never Ending Dreams, 1,300m, 70 degree ice, M4. This was Kapura’s first route from Nangma Valley side.

Kapura south summit Photo Daniela Teixeira
Kapura south summit is the rocky spire above the tent, Never Ending Dreams climbs the snow slope on the left above the col Photo Daniela Teixeira
Teixeira on the lower part of the route Photo Paulo Roxo
Teixeira on the lower part of the route Photo Paulo Roxo
Roxo on the summit  Photo Teixeira
Roxo on the summit Photo Teixeira

K6 West was first climbed this summer by two Canadians: http://gripped.com/2013/08/sections/news/success-for-slawinski-and-welsted-on-k6-west-7040m/