While the monumental peaks like K2, Broad Peak and Gasherbrums situated deep in Karakoram are the principal allure for alpinists all around the globe, a vale 30km southwards from Concordia is considered to be the dreamland of rock climbers.
|Amin Brakk Routes: 1-Sol Solet,|
2-Czech Express; Image AAJ (2000)
Nangma Valley stretches eastwards from the village of Khandey - located midway between Khaplu and Hushe. Apart from magnificent K6 and Drefekal, Nangma Valley is surrounded by several granite walls; Changi Tower, Amin Brakk, Nawaz Brakk, Ibrahim Brakk, Green Tower and Denbor Brakk are a few to name here. These spectacular rock walls rise 5000m to 6000m above sea level and present various difficulty levels. Amongst the crowd of rock towers, Amin Brakk (5850m) is considered to be the most famous and technically challenging; therefore attracts several climbers every year.
Rock climbing options on this peak were first explored by Basque climbers in 1995. The intimacy of Basque climbers and locals of this valley dates back to 1985 when Ibrahim Akhon and Shamshair Ali from Muchalo village (near Khaplu) worked with Spanish expedition to Karakoram. The relationship developed as they worked together for several years and it was further strengthened by the humanitarian work of Felix Foundation; an NGO established by Basque climbers to facilitate development in the areas of education, agriculture and tourism. In 1995, a team of Spanish climbers with the assistance of local porters penetrated deep into the valley. Awestruck by the splendor of this magnificent tower, Jon Lazkano gave it the name Amin Brakk, as a token of appreciation to Amin's hard work and devotion. Amin, who was working with expedition supposedly as a cook, was the eldest son of Ibrahim Akhon. Brakk means mountain in local language.
|Jon Lazkano on Amin Brakk during 1997; Image AAJ (1997)|
Jon Lazkano made two attempts to climb Amin Brakk with fellow Spaniards in 1996 and 1997 but on both occasions they fell couple of hundred meters short of summit. The peak was first summited by Pep Masip, Miguel Puigdomenech and the lady from Barcelona, Silvia Vidal in 1999. First successful B.A.S.E. jump descent was made by Valery Rozov of Russian expedition in 2004. This year, the Russians have returned to Amin Brakk with the intention of achieving first winter ascent. The Team consists of Serguey Grachev (leader), Alexander Shabunin, Eugeny Dmitrienko and Andrew Glen.
Russians started their winter 2013 expedition to Amin Brakk quite late in the season. They flew to Islamabad on 7th February. As per last update from russianclimb, the team has reached base camp and are working on the Sol Solet route. Just like their northern 'neighbors in Karakoram' (e.g. Laila Peak and Broad Peak teams), they too are reporting 'hard' weather from Amin Brakk. Team is expected to remain in Nangma valley till 7th March.
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