American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Asia, Afghanistan, Mandaras Valley, M7 West Face

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

M7, West Face, Mandaras Valley. A 12-man Catalan expedition was in the Mandaras valley from July 15 to August 15. After a two-day approach from Qadzi-Deh with 16 porters we placed Base Camp at 13,750 feet. A high camp was placed at 16,750 feet at the foot of the west face of M7. From August 3 to 7 Emili Civis and Jaume Bonaventura completed the first ascent of the west face*, four days on the 3700-foot wall. They followed the northwest spur which joined the north ridge 1200 feet below the summit (20,617 feet). They had snow and ice up to 60°. They bivouacked at 17,550 and 19,200 feet on the ascent and again at 19,200 feet on the descent. From the bivouac they descended the north ridge proper rather than the spur. (Audoubert’s French expedition had made the first ascent of M7 in 1969 by the north ridge.) Meanwhile Josep Ponce, Pep Camarena, Joan Germà Casola and Lluís Belvis climbed the French couloir to the north ridge and supported the summit party. Others were Joan Creixams, leader, Enric Ribot, Josep Casanovas, Josep María Castan, Odette Viñas, Dr. Joseph Viñas and I. I had to be evacuated because of an attack of appendicitis.

Ricard Vila, Centre Excursionista de Catalunya

*The Spaniards climbed the spur on the northwest (left) part of the face. The British route (see above) ascended the central spur which led directly to the summit.

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