American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Asia, Pakistan, Thui II, Hindu Raj

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 1979

Thui II, Hindu Raj. Our expedition was composed of Nick Tritton, leader, Chris Griffiths, Chris Lloyd, Captain Inam ul Haq, liaison officer, and me. After a two-week delay in Rawalpindi waiting for flying weather, we flew to Gilgit on July 13. On July 14 we drove 90 miles by jeep to Yasin, beyond which the road was washed out. It took from July 16 to 19 to get with porters to Base Camp at the junction of the Aghost Bar and Qalandar Gum Glaciers. Thui II (21,401 feet), the highest unclimbed peak in the Hindu Raj, had been attempted by three previous expeditions. Major obstacles were a series of icefalls in the Qalandar Gum Glacier, which had to be overcome before the peak came into view. Camp I was above the second icefall at 16,000 feet. Camp II was at 18,500 feet in an ice cave at the head of the glacier. We returned to Base Camp for a rest before Tritton, Griffiths and Lloyd made a single six-day push from Base Camp. After Camp II the route continued over a subsidiary 19,700-foot summit before descending to a small col at the foot of the southeast ridge of Thui II. This rock-and-ice ridge, which was climbed over two days, culminated in their arrival at the summit late on August 4. Valuable time was spent in visiting a second summit of apparently equal height. In deteriorating weather they bivouacked an hour below the summit without sleeping gear. They made the descent safely over the next three days. Problems lay in the remoteness of the peak from Base Camp. It had an overall TD alpine grade of difficulty, with UIAA III on rock and Scottish III on ice with the crux a gully above “Donkey’s Ears,” the high point in 1969. Our Pakistani liaison officer was a great help both on and off the mountain.

David Hillebrandt, University of London Mountaineering Club

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