American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Asia, Pakistan, Great Trango Tower Attempt

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 1989

Great Trango Tower Attempt. On May 27, Doug Dean and I left Base Camp directly across the Baltoro Glacier from the Trango group and hiked to the base of the gully below the west side of the Nameless Tower, hoping to repeat the Selters-Woolums north-face route on the Great Trango Tower. The next morning we ascended to camp in the shelter of a rock close below the base of the Nameless Tower. On the 29th, we followed a snow ramp out to the right side of the gully. We camped and rested a day at about 17,500 feet. On the 31st, Dean waited out a series of snow squalls and left alone at dawn for the summit. He climbed steep, rotten snow onto the upper glacier, saw another storm coming and cached his pack. By the time he had ascended the headwall and cut through the cornice, he was in the thick of the storm. He was on a double-corniced ridge about 200 feet west of the summit. He traversed to a point 25 feet directly below the summit. Rather than risk the corniced summit alone, he returned to camp, where we weathered the storm until the following dawn. We descended to the junction of the Trango and Baltoro Glaciers in a few hours, but poor visibility kept us from crossing that day. We rejoined our friends at Payu on the evening of June 2. Other members were Michael Woodworth, Ed Gunkel, Bill Noble and Tim Rashko.

Eric B. Sandbo, Alpine Club of Canada

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