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Asia, Pakistani-Afghan Frontier Area, Hindu Kush

Tirich Mir. On July 22 our Spanish expedition established Base Camp in Babou Kapoun at 15,400 feet. We were Antonio Bahí, Dr. Amando Redondo, Jorge Camprubí, Ramón Majó, Enrique Bonastre, José Lleonart, José María Díaz, Juan Frontera, Franz Ludwig (Swedish) and I as leader. With the help of four high-altitude porters, we established four high camps at 17,400, 19,000, 20,350 and 21,650 feet on the Upper Tirich Glacier. To there it was relatively easy, apart from acclimatization problems. It took us more than seven days to prepare the big face between Camp IV and the shoulder of Tirich Mir. It was hard work during which we fixed more than 2150 feet of nylon rope. On August 7 the face was ready. Two climbers started up into a difficult 250-foot chimney covered with ice, but they had to bivouac under it, owing to fatigue and altitude. The next day a second group of three managed to reach the first group on a tiny platform. From there, at 23,000 feet, four men started up the chimney with UIAA difficulty of V. The weather had been good, but clouds began to obscure the sky and soon a storm started. The chimney led up onto a slope where violent wind was drifting the snow, which hurt the men’s eyes. They went up the couloir toward the dreamed-about shoulder, but before arriving there, they again had to bivouac on a tiny rock platform beside the ice. A rucksack with all the bivouac equipment fell. Now at 23,625 feet, the weather got steadily worse. It was a miserable night in the open air. The next day two had to quit with frostbitten hands and feet. They descended to Base Camp. The remaining climbers ascended to the shoulder, where Camp

V was established at 23,800 feet. At last, on August 10, at 3:10 P.M. Camprubí and I succeeded in setting up the pennants of Pakistan, Spain and Catalonia on the summit of Tirich Mir (25,286 feet), the highest mountain reached by Spaniards. On August 11 Ludwig and Lleonart made the second ascent of Dir Gol Zom (22,238 feet), a beautiful ice and rock peak. The same climbers on August 12 moved up to the Tirich Mir shoulder and on the 13th climbed over P 7352 (24,121 feet) to the pure white, beautiful summit of Tirich Mir West (24,564 feet).

JosÉ María Montfort, Centro Excursionista de Bages, Manresa, Spain