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Climbers Make First Ascent of Latok 1 North Side

Editor's Note: Correction - Updated reports from the climbers say they climbed roughly two-thirds of the North Ridge before traversing out on the North face for safety reasons. The full ridge remains unclimbed.

Latok 1 and its prominent North Ridge. Luka Lindic photo.

Two weeks ago, tragedy struck on Latok 1, as a Russian climber Sergey Glazunov fell to his death, leaving his partner Alexander Gukov stranded without gear at 6,200 meters. Gukov was rescued after six days via a brave helicopter extraction. The pair was trying to finish a climb on the north ridge of the Karakoram giant, first famously attempted by an American team in 1978. The North Ridge of Latok 1 was considered one of the last remaining unclimbed high-altitude challenges left in the Karakoram.

RELATED: Russian Climber Alexander Gukov Rescued From Latok 1

This weekend, a team made up Slovenian alpinists Aleš Česen and Luka Stražar and the British Tom Livingstone finally realized their dream of finishing the heady climb. Despite the peaks popularity among elite climbers (team after team has attempted and failed it) Česen, Stražar, and Livingstone were only the second team to stand on the summit. A Japanese team put six climbers on top in 1979 using siege-style tactics.

No details exist from the climb yet, as the team is busy packing up and heading home. In a message on the Alpine Association of Slovenia’s website, the team reported: “Aleš, Tom and Luka returned to the base a few hours ago, we climbed a new direction in the north ridge and came to the top of Latok 1. Follow … sleep.”

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