American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Asia, Pakistan, Army Mountaineering Association Expedition, 1959, Chogo Lungma Region, Karakoram

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  • Publication Year: 1961

Army Mountaineering Association Expedition, 1959, Chogo Lungma Region, Karakoram. Last summer (1959) our Army Mountaineering Association sponsored an expedition to the Karakoram. The object was to introduce new people to the area and to train them; we were not after any particular peak. We were a large party of sixteen in all, which included three officers from the Pakistan Army (Capt. Jawed Akhter, Capt. Inayat Ullah and Lt. Abdul Ghani) and two from the Royal Navy (Lt. M. B. Thomas and Lt. V. J. Fricker). The rest of us were soldiers (Capt. H. R. A. Streather, leader, Maj. F. L. Jenkins, Maj. P. G. H. Varwell, Capt. A. J. Imrie, Capt. R. G. S. Platts, Capt. T. Hardman, Lt. G. F. Chapman, Lt. D. H. Philpott, Sgt. M. Quinn and Dr. P. J. Horniblow). All went well and we saw a great deal of new territory. In all we climbed six new peaks of between 17,000 and 23,000 feet and visited several new passes. The original plan had been to go to Chitral, but this fell through and so we went up into the area of the Chogo Lungma and Kero Lungma Glaciers to the north of Skardu. Much of the ground we covered on the approach was old K2 ground, and I was particularly glad to be able to employ again many of the porters who had been with us on K2—particularly some of those who had helped to carry us out after the accident. We established our depot camp near Arandu at the foot of the Chogo Lungma Glacier in Baltistan. From June 28 to July 3 we divided into three groups to reconnoitre possible objectives above the Kero Lungma, Alchori and Chogo Lungma Glaciers. A 17,300-foot peak above the Alchori was climbed. The reconnaissance showed that the third glacier was least attractive and so the party split in two on July 8 for climbing on the Hispar Wall above the first two. After the Kero Lungma group had climbed a 17,100-foot mountain, from an advanced base they ascended "Sugar Loaf” (18,500 feet) on July 15, "Wedge Peak” (18,300 feet) two days later and "Engineers Peak” (19,010 feet) the day after. Meanwhile the Alchori party twice climbed "Gloster Peak” (19,300 feet). (These names are unofficial.) In the final phase of the expedition the party again split into two groups, one of which unsuccessfully attempted Ganchen (21,000 feet) but was held up first by a large icefall on the western approach and then by difficulties on the Dongus Glacier. We were more fortunate on Malubiting and, considering the limited time available to us, met with a certain amount of success. During the first five days we moved up the Chogo Lungma Glacier to establish an Advanced Base near the mouth of the Malubiting Glacier and then Camp I at the foot of Spantik below the southeast ridge of Malubiting. From Camp II, at 20,000 feet, Horniblow and I were able to establish Imrie and Jawed Akhter in Camp II at about 21,000 feet by mid-day of August 1 and leave them there to climb the next day by 12:30 p.m. to the summit of Malubiting East (23,000 feet). They had a fine climb. They were able to move together up to the unstable rock ridge, except where the new snow and verglas forced them to move with more caution. They were stopped by a snow wall 200 feet below the summit but managed to bypass this on a very steep snow slope to the left and a small rock tower leading to the summit snow slope.

H. R. A. Streather, Alpine Club

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