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Asia, Pakistan, Lupgha Group, Batura Glacier

Lupgha Group, Batura Glacier. On August 19 Steve Goodman, Del and Steve Davis and I flew to Gilgit. The next day we hired a jeep to drive up the Karakoram Highway to Passu, about 50 kilometers from the Chinese border. We started with six porters and ascended the north side of the Batura Glacier for three days to Guchisham, a shepherd village. There we left the main glacier and ascended northeast towards the Lupgha group. The porters left us at a small lake at 4400 meters, promising to return in a week. Our old Survey of India map indicated that there were a number of peaks nearby between 5500 and 6000 meters. The porters stated that no foreigners had approached the area before. We ferried loads to the highest practical campsite at 4800 meters. A snowstorm forced us to one rest day. On August 28 we moved to the high camp, leaving Goodman at the lake camp with stomach problems. The next morning we ascended rotten gullies and crossed a crevassed glacier to find that our expected plateau was actually a narrow ridge. Proceeding south just under its crest, we arrived at a pointed snow summit registering 5500 meters on my altimeter. A slightly higher point on the ridge, marked 5800 meters on the map was too far away and complicated to reach. We descended to the lower camp, where Goodman was waiting. The next day we went down to the main Batura Glacier. We ascended the main glacier for two days and climbed a pointed 4800-meter peak which provided a panorama of the region. It revealed there were no easy 6000-meter peaks waiting to be climbed. We packed down to Passu in two days with four porters, arriving on September 3.

Gene F. White