Asia, Pakistan—Karakoram, Diran, Hunza, Second Ascent and Tragedy

Publication Year: 1980.

Diran, Hunza, Second Ascent and Tragedy. Our eight-man expedition was a light-weight one. We went up the new Karakoram Highway and on June 24 arrived in Minapin, where we contracted 44 porters. Despite porter problems, we established Base Camp on June 26 at 11,150 feet northeast of the peak. By June 30 we had gone four miles up the glacier to place Advance Base at 12,900 feet. Between July 1 and 3 the route to the north col at 16,550 feet was opened and on July 4 we reconnoitered the north ridge but conditions were so bad that we changed to try a new route on the north face, east of the first-ascent route. Camp I was placed on July 5 at 16,400 feet and Camp II on the face at 18,375 feet the next day. On July 10 Camp III was established near the west col at 20,350 feet. Arturo Romero, Enrique Temprano, Ramón Jaúdenes and Pedro Nicolás reached the summit (23,848 feet) at two P.M. on July 11. They slept that night at Camp III. The next day they descended to Camp II, where all but Nicolás spent the night. At 4:30 A.M. on July 13 a huge avalanche fell from the upper séracs on Diran, completely burying Camp II. Some ice blocks even fell on Camp I, injuring José Luis García. Nicolas and I climbed rapidly to Camp II, but quickly saw the magnitude of the avalanche and the impossibility of recovering the bodies. Base Camp was evacuated on July 15.

Andres Fernandez, Sociedad Deportivo Excursionista, Madrid