Asia, Pakistan, Tahu Rutum, Biafo Karakoram

Publication Year: 1978.

Tahu Rutum, Biafo Karakoram. Tahu Rutum is a rock tower which rises to 21,820 feet at the very head of the Biafo Glacier southeast of Kanjut Sar. Our expedition was composed of Hirotoshi Miyagawa, Katsuo Matsumura, Kazuto Obata, Yoshinobu Tanaka, Yutaka Shimizu, Yukio Usagawa, Kazuya Mitsumochi, Hideyuki Ohnishi, Liaison Officer Captain Khalid Qadeer Butt and me as leader. After leaving Skardu on June 11, we finally arrived on June 27 at Base Camp at 16,700 feet on the glacier that descends to the southeast from the peak. For the last six days we had to relay loads with our Skardu porters, having had to discharge the Askole men after trouble with them. Beyond Base Camp we carried all the loads ourselves. Camp I was set up on July 1 at 18,300 feet after climbing three miles of smooth glacier and a mile of crevasses. It was steep snow climbing to Camp II, first on the western side of the icefall and then on the eastern side of the steep glacier. Camp II at 19,800 feet was set up on July 4. From Camp II we first had to descend to reach a gully which led up to the col at the foot of the southwest ridge. We climbed mixed ice and rock up the steep ridge of eight pitches to place Camp III at 20,350 feet on July 10. Above Camp III there were six more pitches along the mixed ridge before it joined the headwall, which overhung in part. There were twelve pitches on the headwall, which took three days to prepare with fixed rope. We were lucky that a half a month of fine weather had dried the headwall. On July 13 Obata, Usagawa, Tanaka and Mitsumochi left Camp III at six A.M. and jümared up the headwall to a steep ridge of very soft snow which led to the top. They reached the summit at 12:20 P.M. The next day Miyagawa, Ohnishi, Matsumura and Shimizu climbed to the summit. The weather broke on June 15. Although delayed by storms, we packed out and reached Skardu on July 28 without porters.

Nobuo Kuwahara, Mountaineering Federation of Osaka, Japan