Laila and Little Sister: Up on Crampons, Down on Skis

Dream Wanderlust | Jun 5 , 2018


Italian mountaineer Cala Cimenti along with Swiss Matthias Koenig and Julian Dänzer summited Laila Peak (6096m) in the Karakoram range on 25th May, 2018 and then Cala and Matthias skied down the North-West Face from the summit. Cala and Matthias also summited an adjoined unknown peak (5809m), they named it 'Laila's Little Sister' and made the first ever ski down from the summit.

Julian on the other hand unfortunately slipped down a distance of 400m from the summit and lost a ski. He was forced to go down using crampons. "We summited Laila Peak the 25 of May at 10:30am (Pakistan time). The name of the summiters: Matthias Koenig, Julian Dänzer and Cala Cimenti," as told by Cala to Dream Wanderlust. "We realized the second full descent," he stated about the ski down the Laila Peak from the summit. After summiting Laila, Cala and Matthias ascended the adjacent peak, 'Little Sister' (As shown in Figure with an arrow mark) via a Col (5700m) where they took shelter for the night before the ascent of 'Little Sister'. "We started skiing from the summit of 'Little Sister' (5809m) to descend down to 4400m, we had fantastic experience to ski on these spectacular mountains," Cala added.

However, first ski on Laila Peak was made by Scandinavian climbers Fredrik Ericsson and Jörgen Aamot in summer 2005. They reached up to 100m below the summit and skied down the NW Face from there. Several attempts have been made since then but no one was able to ski down the entire mountain till the 11th of May, 2018. On 11th May three French skiers Carole Chambaret, Tiphaine Duperier and Boris Langenstein skied down the summit for the first time ever just 14 days earlier from Cala and Matthis. Hence after 13 years from the first attempt, two teams have completed the first and second full descent of the spectacular mountain this spring.

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The Col (5700m) where Cala and Matthias slept before summiting 'Little Sister'. The South Face of Laila on the left

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View of Laila (R) with 'Little sister' (L)

Cala Cimenti, Matthias Koenig and Julian Dänzer teamed up at Skardu on 11th May. They started from Skardu on 12th May and arrived at the Base Camp (4173m) of Laila Peak on 14th May. They set up their first Camp on 15th May at 5100m and on 25th May they summited and Cala and Matthias skied down from the summit. Next, Cala and Matthias summited 'Little Sister' on 28th May and skied down from the summit.

They are now at Skardu and will leave for Gasherbrum II (8035m) expedition tomorrow and they will try to ski down from that mountain too as Cala told to Dream Wanderlust, "We'll try to ski it."

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Cala (Front) and Matthias (Behind) climbing at 5900m

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Matthias climbing at 5900m

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Matthias near the summit of Laila Peak

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Julian Dänzer, Matthias Koenig and Cala Cimenti (L to R) on the summit of Laila Peak

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'Laila's Little Sister' pointed with arrow mark

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Laila Peak (L) with Little Sister (R)

Photo Courtesy: Cala Cimenti

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