British Koyo Zom Expedition 2019. 31 August - 10 October. Koyo Zom (6877m), Yarkhun Valley, Hindu Raj, KPK, Pakistan
Will Sim, Uisdean Hawthorn, Ally Swinton, John Crook, Tom Livingstone
Agent: Jasmine Tours
The team arrived in Islamabad on 1st September and travelled to the Yarkhun valley via Chitral, arriving at their base camp (3500m) on 6th Sept. They spent three nights acclimatising at 5040m from 9th to 12th.
Will and Uisdean were ill on the following days, so Ally, John and Tom slept at 5040m again, and then at 5880m on the ‘right hand skyline’ of Koyo Zom. This was effectively the north-west face. They returned to BC on the 18th.
On the 20th, Uisdean and Will spent another night acclimatising by sleeping around 4800m, and on the 21st, Will climbed to the summit of a 5500m peak above BC. This is believed to be the first ascent.
On the 24th, Will, John and Uisdean began climbing the left hand skyline of Koyo Zom. This was the north-east ridge. Tom and Ally also began climbing on the right hand skyline.
After four days of snow, ice and mixed climbing, Will, John and Uisdean bailed due to expected bad weather and illness. They had climbed complex ridges and their highpoint was about 6000m. They returned to BC on the 28th.
Tom and Ally spent five days climbing the north-west face, enjoying steep (at times, overhanging) mixed, ice and rock, to reach the summit of Koyo Zom (6877m) at 1pm on the 28th. They descended the east face (the line of ascent in ’68 by Austrians (the first ascent of Koyo Zom) and Brits in ’77(?)). On the 29th, whilst walking down the Pechus glacier back to BC, Ally fell in a crevasse and sustained injuries to his head and leg. Tom and Ally were rescued by Pakistani Army helicopters on the following day (30th September).
The team reunited in Islamabad on the 2nd October.