American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Asia, Pakistan, Nameless Tower Attempt, Trango Towers

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 1987

Nameless Tower Attempt, Trango Towers. There were four of us, three Japanese, Noboru Yamada, Kasuhiro Saito and Kenji Yoshida, and I from Poland. Still today I don’t understand what happened on the Trango Towers. On the 19th day after establishing Base Camp, my dear Japanese friends unexpectedly and to my total bewilderment called off our attempt on June 23 at a third-height of the southeast face of the Nameless Tower. The weather was splendid, we had more food than we could eat and the tower was enthralling. We arrived at Base Camp at 4000 meters on the Dunge Glacier on June 4. On June 8 we carried 100 kilograms of food and equipment to the base of the tower at 5200 meters. The approach was dangerously exposed to snow avalanches sliding off the surrounding slabs and séracs. We recommend a night approach to the east side of the tower. On June 9 and 10, assisted by Yamada, I climbed and fixed with rope five pitches up to UIAA Grade VI, A2. That brought us to the big snow band. On June 20 we carried the remaining gear from the Base Camp to the snow band, a total of 150 kilograms. After a bivouac there, on June 21 we started on the final push. The climb developed obstinately. During the first two days, Yoshida and Saito climbed three pitches. Saito took a fall, painfully hitting his knee. The next morning it was my turn. I tackled a very fine pitch and just as I was scanning the excellent and promising rock above, the astounding call for retreat came from below. I was furious, but helpless. At midnight we were back on the Dunge Glacier. Surprisingly, after returning to Base Camp, our relations took a new course. They became more warm-hearted. We slowly came to understand each other. The tension between us vanished. I came back to the plains with two loves greater than before: Trango and the Japanese. Defeats are good.

Wojciech Kurtyka, Klub Wysokogórski, Kraków, Poland

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