Mount Everest Foundation
Supporting the exploratory

Shaksgam

Normand and Mease shared logistics with German and Slovenian expeditions, but climbed independently. Their goal was the exploration of of mountains north of the Upper Shaksgam River in the Karakorum of Chinese Xinjiang, and in particular attempts on the unclimbed Durbin Kangri I (6952m), Kaimuk Kangri (6952m), and Burnag Kangri (6821m). The approach was by Landcruiser from Kashgar to Ilik, and then on foot with camels for the gear, to a base camp at 4100m up the Kulchintubulak River 3km off the Shaksgam. An advance base was set up further up the valley at 4800m, and they continued up the Kizil Davan Pass to acclimatise at 5600m.The daytime weather was extremely warm. They set off from ABC for a four day push up the North Face of Durbin Kangri I, but their attempt was short lived when the ice on the face was found to be hollow, with running water behind, covering extremely poor rock. They then considered an attempt on the north east flank of the mountain, but decided against this after seeing a huge avalanche sweep off this face. Instead they crossed the Kizil Davan to try their luck in the Zug-Shaksgam, and explore approaches to Burnag Gangri. Failing to find a feasible route, and with deteriorating weather, they retreated to ABC. At base camp they learned that the Slovenians were missing and overdue, and they started a search, which turned out to be fruitless. The search continued with the assistance of a military helicopter, but no trace was found.

June - July 2014
Bruce Normand and Jesse Mease

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