Himalaya, Pakistan, Gasherbrum IV

Publication Year: 1959.

Gasherbrum IV. A very strong Italian party under the leadership of Riccardo Cassin overcame extremely great climbing difficulties and made the first ascent of Gasherbrum IV (26,000 feet). On August 6 Walter Bonatti and Carlo Mauri left Camp VI at 24,750 feet on the northeast ridge. The first 350 feet, which were the easiest they encountered, took them three hours; from there on the climbing became more difficult! The summit ridge is composed of five rock towers of which they judged the third to be the highest. After traversing to its base, they found class 4 and 5 climbing on rotten rock awaiting them there too. They reached the summit at 12:30. After an all-night snow storm at Camp VI they descended the next day over a hazardous route to Camp V (23,600 feet), where were Toni Gobbi and Giuseppi de Francesch. The latter barely stopped himself from falling to his death when the support party moved out to help the summit pair. Other climbers were Giuseppi Oberto and Dr. Fosco Maraini.