American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Asia, Pakistan, Tirich Mir

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 1968

Tirich Mir. The Ichikawa Mountaineering Association Expedition was composed of Kazuyoshi Takahashi, Sadamasa Takahashi, Tatsuo Arioka, Kohji Komatsu, Masazumi Nishina, Kenji Takano, Masaaki Kondo, Fusayoshi Maeda, Hiroshi Sekiya, Toshio Aoki and Yoshihiko Yamamoto. They left Chitral on July 9 and were in Base Camp at 13,450 feet on the upper Tirich Glacier on the 15th. Camp I was at 14,750 feet, Camp II (Advanced Base) at 15,400 feet, Camp III at 18,000 feet, Camp IV at 19,700 feet, Camp V 21,325 feet, Camp VI at 23,000 feet and Camp VII 23,625 feet. On August 11, from Camp IV Kurt Diemberger, who joined them, Nishina and S. Takahashi reached the top of Achar Zom II (20,670 feet). The summit consisted of two peaks (black rock and snow );they climbed the latter but found it had already been climbed a month before for the first time by the Czech party. On August 14 Diemberger, Proske and Kondo made the second ascent of Dirgol Zom (or Pyramid, 22,238 feet), the Czechs having made the first ascent. The summit party assembled in Camp V on August 10. They were Arioka, Takano, Maeda, and Yamamoto. On the 12th they started for the 23,625- foot col on the left ridge along the upper edge of the glacier. It took many hours to fix ropes in the crevassed area and they bivouacked at 22,650 feet under the couloir that descends from the col. The ice was so hard that it was difficult to cut steps and took them seven hours to climb 350 feet on the 13th. As they ascended, the couloir narrowed and ended in a 65-foot cliff. It snowed again in the evening when they finished the cliff and ascended the gentle snow slope. They found the abandoned tent of the Czech party. On August 14 they traversed the west side of the ridge which connects the main and north peaks. From 24,100 feet they climbed directly to the ridge on which they bivouacked at 24,275 feet in a snowstorm. On the 16th they descended to the col at 23,625 feet. As five days had passed since they had started, the remaining members began to think of a possible accident. It happened that Kurt Diemberger and a companion were near Camp V, hoping to climb Tirich Mir. The Japanese explained the situation and asked him if he could give a hand. Since Diemberger’s partner was not in good condition, it was decided that Kondo would accompany him. They started in the afternoon and reached 22,650 feet. The summit party descended the couloir from the col the next morning, fixing ropes and meeting Diemberger at 22,650 feet. Those descending, without ropes, had hard toil and finally reached Camp V at four o’clock. After a day’s rest at the col, Diemberger and Kondo traversed the upper Tirich Glacier side from the 24,450-foot point on the ridge and reached the top (25,290 feet) seven hours from the bivouac on August 19. Maeda and Nishina made an attempt on August 27 but it was too late and the mountain was covered with ice. They reached 23,950 feet.

Ichiro Yoshizawa, Japanese Alpine Club

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