American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Asia, Pakistan, Hidden Peak from Southwest and Gasherbrum II Attempt

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 1984

Hidden Peak from Southwest and Gasherbrum II Attempt. Our group was made up of Javier Escartín, leader, Victor Arnal, Ignacio Cinto, Lorenzo Ortas, Antonio Ubieto and me. We set up Base Camp on July 23 at 17,050 feet on the Abruzzi Glacier. We headed right for Hidden Peak and on July 24 placed Camp 1 at 18,850 feet in one of the only spots on the face protected from avalanches. The most difficult part of the route was a 2650-foot-high ice face between Camps I and II without any let-up in the 55° to 60° slope. We fixed ropes there. We established Camp II at 21,500 feet on July 30. All six of us left Base Camp on August 4, hoping for a summit try. We slept at Camp I that night and the next at Camp II, where we were trapped until the 9th when we descended to Base Camp. The weather stayed bad until the 15th. The next summit attempt began on August 16. On August 18 we set out from Camp II with 45-pound packs. After overcoming complex séracs, we put on our skis at 22,150 feet. We crossed the French route at 22,650 feet but kept on the ridge rather than in the hollow as they had. We set up our three tents at 23,300 feet but could not move because of the weather on August 19, 20 and 21. Nearly out of food and fuel, we set out at eleven P.M. on the 21st, still in bad weather and in deep snow. The clouds began to open as we reached the American route. Finally, at seven P.M. all six of us got to the summit (8068 meters, 26,470 feet). We had to bivouac without sleepings bags at 24,600 feet. Ortas froze both hands. We skied from 25,425 to 22,150 feet on the descent, a big help. We had 30 rappels between Camps II and I. Ortas had to leave for medical help with the liaison officer. On August 29 Escarím, Arnal, Cinto and I left Base Camp for Gasherbrum II. Ubieto was ill. We bivouacked at 19,350, 21,000, 22,650 and 23,950 feet on August 29, 30, 31 and September 1. The snow was deep. The weather was bad on September 2 but we started higher. It got steadily worse and we had to give up at 25,250 feet. We were back in Base Camp on September 3.

Jerónimo López, Federatión Española de Montañismo

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