More than 20 years after first setting eyes on the peak and noting it as a potential objective, Mick Fowler, with Paul Ramsden, has succeeded in making the first ascent of the north east face of Hagshu. Regular climbing partners Fowler and Ramsden completed the unclimbed face of the 6,515m mountain in the East Kishtwar region of the Indian Himalaya, before traversing it and descending by the south east ridge.
Initially setting out to climb the north face of Hagshu the pair had secured the permit to make that attempt. However, an apparent administrative mix–up provided an opening to the Slovenian team of Marko Prezelj, Luka Lindie and Ales Cesen, who were already established on the British team’s planned line by the time they were acclimatised and ready for action. Instead, Fowler and Ramsden turned their attention to the equally appealing north east face and successfully reached the summit on 6 October. They arrived back at base camp six days after setting out.
According to the latest Indian survey, Hagshu is the highest peak in East Kishtwar, and after numerous attempts it was first climbed (twice) in 1989. Between then and this year, it had been attempted on several occasions, but with no success.
Mick Fowler comments:
“The call of Hagshu has been answered after more than 20 years. Our climb of the north east face proved to be pleasingly memorable and together with a traverse of the mountain, provided a fine six day outing from base camp.
“Few mountains have an ascent history as curious as Hagshu. There have been four ascents to date and – two within days of each other in 1989 and two within days of each other 25 years later. And all of them have been by different lines.
“And as seems to be becoming a habit for us, Paul and I couldn’t help but spot another urge giving objective while on the Hagshu trip. We spotted Kishtwar Kailash during our ascent of Shiva in 2012, and then were reminded of Hagshu’s presence while on Kishtwar Kailash last year.
“Now we have spotted something else of interest while on Hagshu. The Himalaya just keeps on giving. It’s a great time to be a Himalayan alpinist.”