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Asia, Pakistan, Hidden Peak (Gasherbrum I), North Face Attempt

Hidden Peak (Gasherbrum I), North Face Attempt. Granger Banks, Richard Soaper, Lyle Dean and I arrived at Gasherbrum I Base Camp on May 19 after eleven days on the Baltoro approach with 23 porters. After placing a food cache at 21,325 feet in the Gasherbrum La Icefall, we descended to recuperate. On June 3 we returned up the West Gasherbrum Glacier icefall to the cache in two days. The next day we climbed the right side of the north face in twelve hours unroped. The face consisted of wind-blown ice on the bottom, mixed climbing on a rotten rock arête in the middle and a final third of “funky” névé up to 80°. We carried four days’ food. We were on the north face itself, well left of Messner’s route. On the top of the north face, on the northwest shoulder of Hidden Peak, we placed our high camp at 23,300 feet next to Messner’s and Habeler’s destroyed tent. On June 6 we rested, hoping to join Messner’s route the next day and climb to the summit. We were wrong. The next three days were spent battling gale winds. Supplies dwindled. Granger Banks and I descended the north face. Dean and Soaper waited in hope of a calming of the winds. That evening they thought there was a chance and started off that night. Soaper reconsidered and returned to the high camp. At 24,600 feet Dean found the conditions worse and decided to come back down too. We felt that the ice and snow conditions might be better later in the season.

Gordon Banks, Unaffiliated