American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Asia, Pakistan, Yukshin Gardan Sar

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 1985

Yukshin Gardan Sar, First Ascent. Our expedition was composed of Pakistanis Mohamed Yaseen Siddiqi, Ahmed Bareed and Ibrahim Taufail, and Austrians Willi Bauer, Dr. Walter Bergmayr, Willi Brandecker, Reinhard Streif and me as leader. On May 18 we left Rawalpindi in a minibus, followed by a bus with the gear. It was a 15-hour drive to Gilgit on the Karakoram Highway. Late the following day we left for Pasu, where we arrived at eleven P.M. It took two days to organize the porters and an escort. With 76 porters, on May 22 we set out through the narrow ravines of the Shimshal valley. After five days we reached the village of Shimshal. We reached the Yazghil Glacier in two days and on May 28 set up Base Camp on the right moraine of the glacier at 4000 meters. Two days later, a Japanese expedition bound as well for the summit of Yukshin Gardan Sar joined us at Base Camp. We had planned seven weeks for the ascent. The presence of the Japanese was a strong incentive for us to reach the summit as soon as possible. The Japanese were accompanied by the best Pakistani mountaineer, Major Sher Khan. On May 29 Camp I was set up at 4400 meters up the Yazghil Glacier. On June 1 we crossed a side glacier and ascended over a side ridge to place Camp II at 5150 meters. We descended a 300-meter couloir and continued up the glacier, which had been frightfully broken to there, to set up Camp III some 100 meters lower than Camp II at 5050 meters. From there we ascended 800 meters up a 40° ice face and to an eight-kilometer-long snow basin where on June 7 we all could occupy Camp IV at 6150 meters. After ascending the basin, we set Camp V right beneath the summit face on June 9 at 6700 meters. Bad weather on June 10 cancelled the first summit attempt. All returned to Base Camp. On June 15 we were ready once more, because we were determined to reach the summit before the Japanese. After hauling our skis to Camp IV, we again failed on June 18 because of bad weather and descended to Camp III. As our food was low, I returned to Base Camp to organize transport to Camp III. On June 24 Bauer, Streif, Brandecker and Dr. Bergmayr ascended to Camp IV and reached Camp V on June 25. In excellent weather they started climbing the summit face on June 26. They ascended steep snow to an ice-coated rock buttress and up to a narrow gap. From there they descended 150 meters in a 60° ice couloir, before climbing a 45° slope to the summit ridge. They reached the summit of Yukshin Gardan Sar (7530 meters, 24,705 feet) at 4:30 P.M. after an extremely difficult and dangerous climb. They had a cold bivouac on the descent.

Rudolf Wurzer, Naturfreunde, Austria

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