AAC Publications - http://publications.americanalpineclub.org

Asia, Pakistan, Mango Gusor Attempt

Mango Gusor Attempt. Our team consisted of Bob Cuthbert, Canadian, Steve Kaagan, American, Bruce McPherson, Australian, John Sheard, Keith Nannery, Bob Shaw, Howie Richardson and me, British. We received permission to climb in the Karakoram only three weeks before departure. The mountain awarded us was Mango Gusor, of which we could find very little information, and what we got was all wrong; i.e. the Mango Gusor in Fosco Maraini’s Karakoram was not the real Mango Gusor. When we arrived in the area in mid-July, we found that Mango Gusor (c. 20,600 feet) was a group of mountains all connected by ridges. We picked the nearest and attempted to reach a very long but easy summit ridge via a 2000-foot granite wall. This was mainly aid climbing with some sections of A4. It was difficult to find bivouac spots with only two hammocks and no bolts. If it wasn’t raining, melt-water was usually pouring over the face. After six days of climbing we were within striking distance of the summit ridge and Nannery got to within 70 feet, but at this point we ran out of food. This coincided with a complete breakdown in the weather. It was unusually warm. Though there was much precipitation, it snowed only once below 20,000 feet. Snow conditions were lethal. Huge avalanches of mud and slurry poured continuously into valleys. This climb should be started at least five weeks earlier.

David Nicol, Alpine Climbing Group