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Asia, Pakistan, Rakaposhi

Rakaposhi. The Irish Himalayan Expedition consisted of P. O’Leary, leader, G. Garrett, E. Goulding, T. Kavanagh, B. O’Flynn, S. Payne and myself. Captain Rafi Mohn was liaison officer and we had four Hunza high-altitude porters. After arriving at Base Camp on June 13, we recon- noitered the full length of the ridge over Secord Peak but decided it was too long after putting up two camps. We then tried a difficult rock rib plastered with snow which led to upper snow slopes below Tilman’s Col. After taking a week to get 500 feet about Col Camp (II) at 14,250 feet, and with prospects the same for the next 1000 feet, we abandoned the route, which was not possible for laden porters. Our third try was up an icefall and upper snow slopes to Tilman’s Col, probably a little to the right of his 1947 route. Above Camp III at 19,250 feet just below the crest of the ridge, we climbed a steep snow ramp and reached the ridge at the top of the first step above the col. The ridge was composed of gendarmes of rotten rock joined by cornices, also rotten, and would have required fixed ropes and siege tactics. As three climbers were unfit (two as a result of an avalanche which had destroyed Camp I), and as the porters refused to sleep above Base Camp, the remaining four climbers were too small a party for the work involved. We retreated, having probably reached 20,500 on July 11.

J. P. O. F. Lynam, Himalayan Club