The team flew from Delhi to Leh on 22 August and after acclimatising spent 2 days driving to Padam via Kargil.
It took a further 2 days to establish our base camp at 4,153m near the confluence of the Temasa Nala and the Korlomshe Tokpo, which we did on 27 August. This was much lower than we had hoped and it was necessary to establish an advance base just below the Korlomshe glacier at 5,100m. This was occupied on 30 August.
Only a small non-climbing team led by Kimikazu Sakamoto in 2012 is known to have entered the Korlomshe Tokpo and they ventured no higher than ~5,100m to photograph the major peaks. From our advance base camp at 5,135m we explored the lower regions of the Korlomshe Glacier and successfully climbed PK 5916 via its glacial SE ridge at Alpine Grade AD, making the first ascent on 1 September (DB, DC, GM). It was climbed by a second team on 4 September (KT, Liaison Officer). We chose to call this peak Kusyabla (Ladakhi for Monk). After exploring the upper glacier we subsequently established a high camp at 5,500m on 7 September. From this camp 3 team members (DB, GM, KT) attempted the impressive ‘Matterhorn-like’ peak at the head of the valley, climbing the prominent SW snow/ice ramp leading to the steep west face which we then climbed until just below the rocky ridge at 5,900m (Alpine D) on 8 September. Time, not technical difficulty, caused us to retreat, which we required 4 full-length abseils. From the high camp on 10 September two members of the party (DB, KT) successfully soloed PK 5947 via its glaciated ENE face and SE ridge at Alpine grade AD to make the first ascent. This peak, which is NNW of Kusyabla, we called Temple (not wishing to use the Ladakhi word, Gompa).
After clearing camps we returned to Padam on 14 September and from there via Leh to Delhi and subsequently back to Europe.
Team: Derek Buckle (Leader), Drew Cook, Gus Morton, Knut Tønsberg, Stuart Worsfold
The team gratefully acknowledges generous financial support from the AC Climbing Fund, the Mount Everest Foundation, and the Austrian Alpine Club. It also acknowledges the gift of equipment/clothing from Bergans and Duffler. Many thanks to Derek Buckle for this report