American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Asia, Pakistan, Latok II Attempt

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

Latok II Attempt. [This peak is the same one attempted by an American expedition in 1978 and British in 1982 by the same route. It had been called Latok I previous to an Italian expedition, which interchanged Latok I and II. The Norwegians call it Latok II. We are not sure which is now officially given by the Pakistanis.—Editor.] After leaving Dassu on June 22, Dr. Magnar Osnes, 0yvind Vlada and Olav Båsen and I arrived at Base Camp on the Choktoi Glacier at 4500 meters on June 28. We believed Latok’s north ridge was ideal for an alpine-style climb. It is a superb line with difficult climbing and few objective dangers. The ridge is 2500 meters high and little is easier than 5.8. We planned considerable time for acclimatization and spent 12 days around and above Base Camp before the ascent. On June 30 Båsen and Vlada climbed a 5600-meter peak near Base Camp; the south face gave 300 meters of rock climbing up to 5.10. We all made the first ascent of a P 5860 with 350 meters of ice climbing along the north ridge. After two of us fixed rope 300 meters up the north ridge of Latok on July 8, all of us established Camp I at the foot of the ridge at 4700 meters on July 10. We moved up the next day to Camp II at 5100 meters. After a day of bad weather, on July 13 we moved to Camp III at the top of the rock pillar at 5350 meters. Up to Camp III it was climbing on good rock with difficulties up to 5.10, A2. On July 14 we fixed rope to Camp IV at 5650 meters and moved up there the next day, fixing 300 more meters of rope. On the 16th we moved up to Camp V at 6050 meters. From Camps III to V it was mostly ice climbing. The mixed climbing to Camp VI at 6400 meters was difficult and we occupied the camp only on July 18. Snow began to fall, piling up 2½ meters in eight days. We made one foray up 100 meters. On July 27 two of us climbed 150 meters, but again it began to snow. On the 28th, still in bad weather, we gave up the attempt. We had been on half rations for the last eight days.

Fred Husøy, Norsk Tindeklub

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