In 2018, the BMC-supported British-Slovenian team of Tom Livingstone, Aleš Česen and Luka Strazar headed to Latok I (7,145m) in the Pakistan Karakoram.
They made the first ascent of Latok 1 from the north, in a seven-day round-trip from basecamp. The North Ridge of Latok 1 has been a prize for generations of alpinists. However, despite 30 or so attempts on the ridge – often dubbed the Walker Spur of the Karakoram - by a variety of highly talented parties, no one has come even remotely near the high point of c7,000m, achieved on the first ever attempt in 1978 by Jim Donini, Michael Kennedy, George and Jeff Lowe.
These four, arguably the strongest American alpinists of the time, spent 21 days on the ridge climbing over 100 pitches. They had probably surmounted all the difficulties, when a combination of wind, cold and Jeff Lowe’s rapidly deteriorating condition due to altitude sickness, forced a retreat.
Since then the ridge has gained a formidable reputation, enforcing the fact that the 1978 attempt was one of the most impressive in the history of alpine-style in the Greater Ranges.
Tom, Aleš and Luka opted for a safer line on the face in the last quarter, summitting via the West Col and making only the second-ever ascent of Latok I and the first from the North.
Tom, a BMC member, successfully applied to the BMC for a BMC expedition grant and received the highest grade award. Aleš is an IFMGA mountain guide and Luka is an aspirant IFMGA guide.
Thanks to Aleš Česen for making such a great film of the expedition and letting us use it on our YouTube channel.
Camera: Tom Livingstone, Luka Stražar, Aleš Česen, Urška Pribošič, Jure Niedorfer
Editing: Urška Pribošič
Final tweaking: Jure Niedorfer
Tom’s sponsors: Mountain Equipment, Petzl, La Sportiva and Julbo.
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