Koyo Zom Trekking Expedition
The Koyo Zom Expedition unfolded as a captivating saga of high-altitude alpinism in the Hindu Raj mountain range. Located on the boundary of the Upper Chitral District of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Gilgit-Baltistan, Koyo Zom, towering at 6,872 meters, stood as the pinnacle of this adventure. Chronicled meticulously by the climbing team, the journey commenced with an exploration into the historical mystique of the Yarkhun Valley, reawakened for exploration by climber Will Sim. The northwest face of Koyo Zom emerged as the expedition's focal point, presenting a colossal and challenging ascent. The narrative threaded through acclimatization, challenging mixed pitches, and the formidable Cathedral 90-meter stretch of vertical and overhanging rock. Climbers Ally Swinton and Tom Livingstone defied the odds, summiting on September 28, 2019, marking the first ascent of the northwest face aptly named "The Great Game." Yet, the descent posed challenges, as a crevasse fall necessitated a helicopter rescue, adding a dramatic twist to this epic tale of triumph and resilience against the raw, unforgiving beauty of Koyo Zom.
Koyo Zom Peak Weather:
It is characterized by the challenging conditions typical of high-altitude mountain regions. Given its elevation of 6,872 meters in the Hindu Raj mountain range, the climate is predominantly cold, with temperatures often dropping significantly, especially during the winter months. The best time to visit Koyo Zom Peak is typically during the summer season, from late June to early September when the weather is relatively milder and the conditions are more favourable for climbing and trekking. During this period, the days are longer, and the temperature allows for a safer and more comfortable expedition. However, visitors must be well-prepared for sudden weather changes, as mountain weather can be unpredictable, and conditions may vary rapidly at higher altitudes.
Koyo Zom Climbing History:
Notable expeditions and achievements mark it. The peak gained international recognition when an Austrian expedition successfully made the first ascent in 1968. The team overcame the formidable challenges posed by Koyo Zom's rugged northwest face, leaving an indelible mark on the mountain's history. Subsequently, British climbers repeated this route in 1974, showcasing the mountain's enduring appeal to alpinists. The ascent by Ally Swinton and Tom Livingstone in 2019, conquering the challenging northwest face and naming it "The Great Game," added another chapter to Koyo Zom's climbing legacy. These ascents underscore the mountain's allure to seasoned climbers and highlight the courage and skill required to navigate its demanding terrain.
Koyo Zom Peak Expedition Challenges:
Conquering Koyo Zom Peak poses an extraordinary test for climbers. Its rugged northwest face, including the daunting Cathedral, demands technical expertise and grit. Acclimatization at high altitudes introduces the persistent challenge of battling headaches and monotony. Unpredictable weather conditions add an element of risk, requiring adaptability on the ascent. Situated in the remote Hindu Raj mountain range, logistical planning becomes crucial for the expedition's success. The successful navigation of these challenges underscores the exceptional resilience and skill of those who undertake the demanding journey to the summit of Koyo Zom.
First Ascent (1968):
The honour of the first successful ascent of Koyo Zom belongs to an Austrian expedition in 1968. Unfortunately, details about the specific team members and their routes are scarce. This pioneering climb marked the beginning of Koyo Zom's journey into mountaineering.
The Quiet Decades (1969-2012):
For the next four decades, Koyo Zom remained relatively untouched. The Hindu Raj's remoteness and the climb's challenging nature deterred many potential expeditions. Only a few attempts were made during this period, with limited information about their successes or failures.
Rekindled Interest (2012):
In 2012, Koyo Zom saw renewed interest with a British expedition by Tom Livingstone. They aimed to climb the mountain via the unclimbed Cassin Ridge, a challenging route on the north face. While unsuccessful, their attempt shed light on the mountain's complexities and sparked further interest.
The Great Game (2019):
2019 saw another British expedition, led again by Tom Livingstone, attempt the Cassin Ridge. This time, joined by a Scottish team, they aimed for a complete ascent. Unfortunately, bad weather and technical difficulties forced them to switch to the northwest face. Still, they successfully summited via this route in October 2019. Their expedition, documented in the book "The Great Game," provided valuable insights into the mountain and its challenges.
Today, Koyo Zom remains a coveted climb for experienced mountaineers. With only a handful of successful ascents, it continues to challenge climbers and inspire explorers.
- 1968: Austrian Expedition - First ascent
- 2012: British Expedition - Attempt on the Cassin Ridge
- 2019: British and Scottish Expedition - Successful summit via the northwest face
The future of Koyo Zom expeditions promises continued exploration and potential new routes. With increasing interest in the Hindu Raj and advances in mountaineering technology, we'll likely see more attempts at this majestic peak in the coming years.
Day 1: Arrival in Islamabad
- Arrive in Islamabad, Pakistan.
- Transfer to your hotel.
- Briefing and meeting with the expedition team.
- Rest and relax after your journey.
Day 2: Islamabad to Chitral
- Fly to Chitral.
- Drive to Chitral town.
- Explore Chitral and make final preparations.
Day 3: Chitral to Ayun
- Drive to Ayun.
- Visit the historic Ayun Fort.
- Acclimatization walk in the evening.
Day 4: Ayun to Koyo Zom Base Camp
- Drive to Shagrom.
- Trek to Koyo Zom Base Camp.
- Set up the base camp and rest.
Day 5-12: Acclimatization and Base Camp Preparation
- Acclimatization hikes around the base camp.
- Skill training and briefings.
- Preparations for the ascent.
Day 13-15: Summit Push
- Begin the ascent to Koyo Zom.
- Camp at different altitudes to acclimatize.
- Summit push on the designated day.
- Descend to the base camp.
Day 16: Rest and Recovery
- Rest day at the base camp.
- Check for any signs of altitude sickness.
Day 17-18: Descent to Chitral
- Trek back to Shagrom.
- Drive to Chitral.
- Celebrate the successful expedition.
Day 19: Chitral to Islamabad
- Fly back to Islamabad.
- Check into the hotel.
- Farewell dinner.
Day 20: Departure
- Transfer to the airport.
- Depart from Islamabad.