American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Asia, Pakistan, Rakaposhi

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 1955

Rakaposhi. Under the leadership of Mathias Rebitsch, veteran of the 1938 Nanga Parbat and 1952 Peruvian Expeditions, six climbers and five scientists from Austria and Germany left Gilgit on May 26, 1954, for the Hunza Valley. The scientists planned to map, study the glaciology, zoology, and botany of the region, as well as investigate the nutrition and physiology of the Hunza people. The climbers had as their primary objective Rakaposhi (25,550 feet), which had already been reconnoitered by the Swiss, Gyr and Kappeler, and the Britishers, Tilman and Secord, in 1947. Thanks to these previous explorations, they entered only the Dianor Valley, which immediately seemed hopeless, and the Bagrot Valley, where they first felt they might find a route but where avalanche danger soon made them abandon all hopes of climbing Rakaposhi. The climbers followed the scientists to the Baltar Glacier in the Tota-Uns Valley, which branches off from the Hunza Valley at Chalt. Between this valley and the Batura Glacier rise unnamed 23,000-foot peaks which the climbers compared to the Chamonix Aiguilles. They had already established their second high camp at over 20,000 feet on one of these formidable peaks and on June 24th were about to make a try for the summit when severe storms forced them back to their base. Later in the summer, they reconnoitered but failed to climb 25,886-foot Dasto Ghil. On August 5th, Martin Schliessler and Adolph Mayer climbed a 25,250-foot unnamed mountain in the Batura Group. Unfortunately, Dr. Karl Heckler was drowned in a river crossing.

The Cambridge University Mountaineering Club expedition attempted Rakaposhi in July and August. They reached over 20,000 feet before being turned back off the southwest ridge by bad weather.

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