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Asia, Pakistan, Nameless Tower, Western Buttress, Trango Towers

Nameless Tower, Western Buttress, Trango Towers. Right after our attempt on the south face of Lhotse, Frenchman Michel Fouquet and I joined Swiss Michel Piola and Frenchman Patrick Delale in Skardu on May 24. With mountain bicycles, we got to Base Camp at 5000 meters beside the Uli Biaho Glacier. After completing our acclimatization by carrying supplies to the foot of the western buttress, we were ready on June 3 for the attack. For the next two weeks our two rope teams alternated fixing ropes on the first half up to the only ledge that permitted the installation of a small wall tent. The sustained very steep climbing, slowed by terribly bad weather, obliged this kind of ascent. A first summit attempt lasted for six days and let us reach 5900 meters. Battered by daily snow flurries and short of food, we were forced back to Base Camp. After a two A.M. departure on June 22, we reascended to the bivouac, where we rested a couple of hours. We then ascended the fixed lines we had installed on our previous retreat. The snow forced us to bivouac another night before reaching the fantastic summit (6237 meters, 20,463 feet) at five P.M. We had had to fix another 100 meters of rope, without which the descent would have been impossible. It took three of us two days to descend, removing the fixed ropes, while Fouquet descended to Base Camp in eleven minutes by parapente. He made a very exposed, windless take-off only a few meters from the abyss. We rate the climb as 6c, A4 with no let-up on any of the 30 rope-lengths. (The Nameless Tower was climbed by British climbers, including Joe Brown, in 1976 by a difficult route on the southwest face, to the right of this route. Another British group in 1984 climbed a route between the present route and the first-ascent route, but had to give up 100 meters from the summit.—Editor.)

Stéphane Schaffter, Guide, Switzerland