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Asia, Pakistan, Mustagh Tower

Mustagh Tower. Our expedition was made up of Sandy Allan, Jon Tinker, Tony Brindle and me as leader, United Kingdom, and Burt Greenspan, Donna Kalel and Alex Reid, United States. Unfortunately Greenspan had a knee injury whilst on the walk in and was forced to return to Islamabad, accompanied by Donna Kalel. We climbed the northwest ridge, the same as the first ascent. Reid helped with load carrying to 18,700 feet but did not acclimatize well enough to go higher. We arrived in Base Camp on July 1 and established Camps I and II at 16,800 and 18,700 feet on July 4 and 8. The initial glacier and icefall were harder than expected and so stocking these camps was time-consuming. However, we fixed rope up the icefall on the ridge flank and got to the ridge at 20,400 feet on July 24. We established Camp III at 20,600 feet on July 25. The ice slope was a bit prone to rockfall late in the day but not difficult. From Camp III we went to the summit in three days with two bivouacs, both in the same place on the ascent and descent at 22,300 feet. Brindle and I reached the summit (7273 meters, 23,862 feet) on July 29, followed on July 30 by Allan and Tinker. The ridge was interesting mixed climbing and technical enough to maintain our interest! We then went to Gasherbrum II and set off on August 17 alpine-style. Unfortunately on arrival at the standard Camp I, we were struck by a massive dysentery attack and bad weather, which caused a general weakening of resolve.

Mal Duff, Scottish Mountaineering Club