The Karakorum Range might as well have a moat around it. A kingdom of the greatest concentration of high mountains on Earth, it holds such fearsome 8,000-meter peaks as K2, Gasherbrum I and II, and Broad Peak. And not only is the range remote and difficult to access, it sits on top of a hotbed of volatile borders between Tajikistan, China, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and India, effectively sealing the mountains from the bulk of mountaineers—and leaving many faces unclimbed.
Perhaps that is part of the allure to climber and BASE jumper Steph Davis, who summited Shipton Spire in 1998. “When we climbed that, it was the third ascent of the peak, and I really enjoyed being there,” she says. “Everything there is just really big, which is part of what makes that place really special. If we lived in a fantasy land and nothing’s an obstacle, it would be pretty cool to go back and jump Shipton.”
By jump, she means toss herself off of it—with a parachute, of course. A 19,308-foot tooth with an inconceivably huge granite face, Shipton has attracted many climbers, but it has never—yet—been jumped.
Next: See Steph Davis's Must-Do Trip: Climb the Diamond, Longs Peak, Colorado
Steph Davis turned climbing royalty in 2003 when she became the second woman to free climb El Capitan in a day. In recent years, she has added new credits to her athletic repertoire: free soloing, BASE jumping, and wingsuit flying. Among many accomplishments, she has free soloed the Diamond on Colorado's Longs Peak four times, free soloed the north face of Utah's Castleton Tower, and BASE jumped off the top.
- Nat Geo Expeditions