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. On July 1 Tom Hargis, Randy Leavitt and I established Base Camp at the foot of the Nameless Tower in the Trango group, on the Dunge Glacier. Our objective was the southeast face of Nameless Tower. From Base Camp we followed a long and dangerous couloir to the lower tower, where we found 600 feet of fixed rope and some food, left by Wojciech Kurtyka and his Japanese friends’ attempt on the same route. On July 6 we went up on the route and hauled some 350 pounds of gear to about 18,500 feet. Fatigue from our ascent of Gasherbrum IV, and high clouds, called for retreat. Several days of freezing rain ensued. On July 16 we went up again, climbing appalling snow above the fixed rope, to the base of the main tower. Gigantic blocks bombarded the face. We climbed four pitches up to A4, and spent two nights on the wall in porta-ledges, reaching about 19,000 feet. At one point, Randy was almost killed when a tower of ice, lodged in the dihederal he was climbing, collapsed and narrowly missed him. In view of the back-breaking logistics of hauling heavy loads, the broken nature of the rock, and constant rockfall, we chose to retreat. Eighty days in the Karakoram may have also dampened our resolve.

Greg Child

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