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Asia, Pakistan, Rakaposhi, Southwest Apur Attempt

Rakaposhi, Southwest Spur Attempt. Our expedition consisted of Dr. Xavier Azagra, María Roca, Quicu Magriñá, Pere Benaiges, Oscar Cadiach, Joan María Magriñá, Jordi Besora, Enric Dalman, Pere Plana and me as leader. We left Jaglot with 68 porters on July 22. Despite the official wage of 60 rupees per day, the porters demanded 135 but settled for 95. We arrived at Base Camp on July 24; we placed it at 13,875 feet, a little higher than previous expeditions. On July 27, after fixing rope on rock that had seemed too rotten for the route on reconnaissance, we placed Camp I at 17,000 feet. We continued up the right side of the spur, where we found pitons from Mike Banks’ expedition which made the first ascent in 1958. We placed Camp II at 18,750 feet, overlooking the Biro and Kunti Glaciers on both sides of the spur. On August 1 five of us set out from Camp II along the long ridge. After climbing over a 1000-foot-high needle and fixing much rope, we arrived at the col between the needle and the Monk s Head, where on August 2 we placed Camp III at 18,950 feet. On the 3rd, work began fixing rope on the Monk’s Head. The slope rises some 1500 feet at an average of 55° with some 60° to 65° stretches. Finally on August 7 Camp IV was improvised at 20,675 feet above the Monk’s Head. On the 8th the weather deteriorated. There were violent winds. Much snow fell, making movement between camps difficult and dangerous. Finally on August 13 the weather was splendid. Pere Plana, Oscar Cadiach, high-altitude porter Fakir Shah and I returned to Camp IV. Above, the route to the summit was not difficult. On the 14th we all set out with loads to establish Camp V but it began to storm again at 10:30. We had no choice but to turn back from 22,650 feet (c. 6900 meters). The stormy weather continued. On the 19th Cadiach and Fakir Shah began their descent. Finally on August 21 Plana and I began the exhausting retreat. On the 24th we were all back in Base Camp, which we left on August 26.

Jordi Magriñá I Güell, AAEEMI, Valls, Spain