American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Asia, Pakistan, Mount Ghent Northeast and Other Peaks, Kondus Group

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 1978

Mount Ghent Northeast and Other Peaks, Kondus Group. Our expedition celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Climbing Group of the Austrian Mountain Club Section of the Austrian Alpine Club. We were led by Bruno Klausbruckner and composed of Günther Andexlinger, Günter Brenner, Hans-Peter Holat, Dr. Wilhelm Kury, Franz Pucher, Heinz Zimmermann and me. After most of the members and our baggage had been driven by road, we assembled on May 23 in Islamabad and a week later were at Skardu. We drove to Khapalu on the 31st. The approach march lasted ten days and took us through barren but beautiful country, past Balti hamlets, up the Shyok, Saltoro and Kondus river valleys. From Base Camp on the Kondus Glacier we spent from June 11 to 27 establishing four high camps. On June 26 Brenner, Holat, Klausbruckner and I made the second ascent of Depak (23,458 feet) by the north face and west ridge. On June 28 from Camp IV at 21,900 feet Brenner, Holat, Klausbruckner, Pucher and I climbed our principal objective, Mount Ghent Northeast (24,088 feet). This, like the rest of our other climbs, was a first ascent. The peak lies between Depak and Ghent. Just as we reached the summit, Dr. Kury fell victim to an accident. After two sick members had recovered in Base Camp, he climbed with them to Camp III at 20,000 feet. Somewhat exhausted from the ascent, Dr. Kury stretched out on a foam pad to rest. When he got up, the wind blew the pad towards a crevassed area some 35 feet from the tents. Despite warning shouts, he ran after it and fell some 150 feet into a crack, where his body was so tightly wedged that it could not be extricated. After five days at Base Camp, we returned to evacuate the camps. The weather was so fine that we made the following first ascents: “Kury Kangri” (P 6650; 21,818 feet, northeast of Depak, named in Dr. Kury’s memory) on July 11 by Andexlinger, Klausbruckner, Pucher, Zimmermann and me via the southeast face, Mount Ghent Northeast again on July 13 by Andexlinger, Klausbruckner, Zimmermann and me, and Chogron Kangri (22,474 feet; 2½ miles southwest of Ghent) on July 14 by Andexlinger, Klausbruckner and me via the east ridge. On July 15 Andexlinger, Klausbruckner, Pucher, Zimmermann and I climbed Sia-La Kangri (20,177 feet; between Silver Throne and the Sia La) via the southwest ridge.

Wolfgang Axt, Österreichischer Alpenverein

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