Saturday, October 22, 2011

Khunyang Chhish the highest mountain #21 in the world

Khunyang Chhish or Kunyang Chhish is the second-highest mountain in the Hispar Muztagh, a subrange of the Karakoram mountains of Pakistan. Alternate variations of the name include Kunyang Kish and Khiangyang Kish, among others. Its height is also sometimes given as 7823m. It is ranked 21st in the world and 8th in Pakistan.

Location

Khunyang Chhish lies in the heart of the Hispar Muztagh, north of the Hispar Glacier, one of the major glaciers of the Karakoram, and east of the Hunza River valley. It rises on the southwest side of the Khunyang Glacier while Distaghil Sar (the highest peak of the Hispar Muztagh) dominates the glacier on its northern end.



Notable features

Khunyang Chhish is the 21st highest independent mountain in the world. It is also notable for its rise above local terrain: for example, it rises almost 4000m above its southern base camp on the Khunyang Glacier, and it rises 5500m above the Hunza valley in about 33 km. It is a steep, pointed, and complex peak; it easily rivals the slightly higher Distaghil Sar, which has a more rounded profile.


Climbing history

The first climbing attempt on Khunyang Chhish was made in 1962 but the climb was aborted after an avalanche on 18 July killed two climbers, Major James Mills and Captain M. R. F. Jones. Their bodies were never recovered.

The next attempt was in 1965 but another climber died after the collapse of a narrow ridge at 7,200 m (23,600 ft).

The first ascent was accomplished by a Polish team led by Andrzej Zawada in 1971. They climbed a long route up the South Ridge of the peak from the Pumari Chhish Glacier. However, one of their members was killed in a crevasse accident.

The second, and only other recorded ascent, climbed the Northwest Spur to the North Ridge. Two British climbers, Mark Lowe and Keith Milne, completed this route on July 11, 1988. The route had first been attempted in 1980, and had been attempted again in 1981, 1982, and 1987.

The Himalayan Index lists three recent attempts on this peak, in 2000 and 2003.

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