Herve Barmasse leading team attempting the North Face of the Ogre in the Karakorum.
A team of climbers led by Italian TNF athlete Herve Barmasse is off to attempt a new route on the North Face of Baintha Brakk (7,285m) in the Karakorum region of the Himalayas, a mountain better known as 'the Ogre' and renowned as one of the most difficult peaks in the world.
The peak was first climbed by a British team including Doug Scott and Chris Bonington back in 1977 in a feat of mountaineering that turned into an epic descent when Scott broke both his ankles high on the mountain and was forced to crawl down assisted by Bonington and fellow Brits Mo Anthoine and Clive Rowlands. It was another 24 years and 20 attempts before the mountain was climbed again, both times from the south.
Climbing From The North
Barmasse along with fellow Italians Daniele Bernasconi and Martin Peterlongo are upping the ante by attempting the peak from the north. The route looks 'challenging' - or for normal people, 'desperate' - with the prospect of a 2,500m technical climb up a steep mixed face in pure alpine style with a climate similar to the polar regions.
The team departs this week on 22 June and is expected to reach the mountain in early July after a journey by foot and 4x4 along the Biafo and Sin Gang glacier up to the Snow Lake, an ice field below the face where the team plans to set up base camp.
'Looking for myself, and my limits'
Barmasse comments: ‘Mountaineering exploration is found where there is uncertainty and a confrontation with nature. Logistical difficulties combined with a hostile environment forces the climber to accept risk and icy conditions as climbing companions. Ogre fully sums up this concept. It signifies the way I do mountaineering: away from the common routes, from the crowd, looking for myself, and my limits.’
Looks like serious stuff. You can follow the progress of the team on line at www.thenorthfacejournal.com or via facebook: facebook.com/thenorthface.europe or on twitter at twitter.com/TheNorthFaceEU.