American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Asia, Pakistan, Phuparash

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

Phuparash. The members of the Charlotte Mason College Himalayan Expedition were Dave Robbins, deputy leader, Linda Rutland, Mike Rafferty, Tony Mercer, John Whittock, Dr. John Burslem, Captain Kayani, liaison officer, and I as leader. The original objective was the north ridge of Diran (Minapin) but there were problems in gaining entry to the Hunza valley. We therefore took our secondary objective, virgin Phuparash Central (22,400 feet). We flew to Skardu by military plane on July 29. On the 30th we drove in two jeeps 110 miles to Sasli. We arrived at Base Camp on August 1 at 10,000 feet at the head of the valley to the north of Darchan. We used 21 porters. From there we could see our objective, the south ridge. By the 4th Advanced Base was fully stocked at 14,000 feet, Above, only snow holes and bivouacs were used. The lower glacier and icefall were penetrated and Camp I, a snow hole, was established on August 7. The next section was via a couloir to an upper plateau and Camp II, another snow hole at 18,000 feet. From there Burslem, Whittock and Robbins on August 14 mounted an alpine-type assault on the south ridge. This was almost totally ice climbing up to Scottish grade 4. They reached the summit on August 18 and returned to Advanced Base on the 21st. This was a fast ascent using modern techniques. Only 200 meters of fixed rope were used on a lower section.

Ron Rutland, Charlotte Mason College, England

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