American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Asia, Pakistan, Shispare, Batura Muztagh

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 1975

Shispare, Batura Muztagh. The Polish-German Academic Expedition climbed the virgin summit of Shispare. The members were Leszek Cichy, Miroslaw Dabrabowski, Marek Grochowski, Jan Holnicki-Szulc, Dr. Piotr Kintopf, Ryszard Marcjoniak, Andrzej Mlynarczyk, Maciej Piatkowski, Jacek Poreba and I as leader, all Polish, and Martin Albanus, Hubert Bleicher, Heinz Borchers and Herbert Oberhofen, West Germans. We drove by truck to Pasu village in Hunza, near the tongues of the Pasu and Batura glaciers, arriving on June 16. Reconnaissance revealed the best route to be the east ridge, with access along the vast buttress which slopes down to the Pasu Glacier. From Pasu, 110 porters in two days brought our gear to the ridge called Patundas (13,775 feet), across the Batura Glacier. From that spot, aided by porters from Ghulkin, we brought our equipment to Base Camp beside the lateral moraine of the Pasu Glacier, establishing it on June 28. Camp I was placed on June 30 at 15,900 feet at the foot of the buttress. The route to Camp II presented great technical difficulties on both rock and ice and 5000 feet of rope were fixed. On July 2 Borchers slipped off the buttress edge and fell about 1500 feet down steep ice, sustaining only slight injuries. Despite the bad weather, the next day he was brought safely to Base. Camp II was finally installed on July 8 at 18,700 feet. The very next day the crest dividing the Ghulkin and Pasu glaciers was reached. On July 10 Camp III was placed on the ridge at 20,500 feet. The last 650 feet led across steep ice, where we fixed handrail ropes. After the camps were equipped, Bleicher, Cichy, Grochowski, Holnicki-Sculz, Mlynarczyk, Oberhofer, Poreba and I started the assault. We left Camp III on July 20 and after climbing a few kilometers of ice ridge and two sub-summits of about 21,000 feet, we reached 22,150 feet, where Camp IV was installed. On July 21 we started for the summit at noon and reached the 22,650-foot snow plateau between Shispare and P 7090 on the ridge leading to Bojohaghur Duanasir (7329 meters or 24,046 feet). I left the group and climbed P 7090 (23,262 feet), which we named “Ghenta” Peak (meaning “Bell” Peak). The other seven reached Shispare’s summit (24,997 feet) at 6:30 P.M. From the snow plateau the route led up a 45° slope. The snow conditions were good. A second group had hoped to climb the peak. Alas, just 650 feet above Camp II, an avalanche struck Albanus and Borchers. Borchers was buried in a crevasse; his body could not be found. We evacuated Base Camp on August 2 and descended the lower part of the Pasu Glacier, a better route than the one by way of Patundas and the Batura Glacier.

Janusz Kurczab, Klub Wysokogórski, Poland

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