American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Asia, Pakistan, Himalayas, Masherbrum

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 1939

Masherbrum (25,660 ft.) was the goal of a British expedition composed of Capt. J. B. Harrison, Lieut, J. O. M. Roberts R. A. Hodgkin, J. Waller, and Dr. T. Graham Brown. In addition Dr G. A. J. Teasdale and Dr. Elizabeth Teasdale joined the party as the medical section and took charge of the base camp. The party left Srinagar on April 28th, 1938, and arrived at Hushe near the foot of the Masherbrum Glacier on May 16th. After a reconnaissance an attempt via the S. E. ridge was decided on. The route actually followed was up the Serac Glacier, across the Dome ridge to the foot of the S. E. ridge and thence up the face between this ridge and the E. ridge. Camp 7 was established at 24,600 ft. by Harrison and Hodgkin and on June 17th these two made an attempt on the summit, reaching a height of about 25,000 ft. before being forced to turn back by the extreme cold and high wind which caused some frostbite in the hands. That night their tent was buried by a small slide from the lip of the crevasse in which the camp was pitched. They decided to abandon the camp and descend to Camp 6 but the blizzard which had at first showed signs of letting up increased in intensity and visibility was nil. They were unable to find the camp and a party which heard their calls had to return at nightfall without finding them. They spent another night in a crevasse, and in a partial clearing the next morning they were able to see the tents below them and make their way to Camp 6. Their hands and feet were badly frostbitten, and an immediate retreat was made to base camp where the Drs. Teasdale took care of them for a week until they could travel. One of the Sherpas and Dr. Graham Brown also suffered from less severe frostbite. Despite serious losses of fingers and toes, it is understood that the invalids have recovered.

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