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Asia, Pakistan, Gasherbrum II Attempt

Gasherbrum II Attempt. Ours was the first American commercial expedition to an 8000-meter peak. We were Galen Rowell, deputy leader, Bob Sloezen, guide, Dr. Peter Cummings, Lester Thurow, Scott Moore, my wife Aleja, Base Camp manager, and I, leader. We reached Base Camp on the Abruzzi Glacier at 6000 meters on June 2. Poor weather characterized the entire trip. Despite almost continuous snowfall, the whole team worked hard and established Camp I at 6000 meters on June 8. We moved to Camp I on June 13 and after a couple of severe storm days began pushing higher and occupied Camp II at 6615 meters on the 25th during a brief spell of good weather. Camp III was occupied on June 26 by Rowell and Moore. Sloezen, Cummings and Thurow joined them on the 27th. Because of the conditions, it was not feasible to bivouac at 7300 meters, as is typically done en route to the summit on the standard route. Two summit attempts were made between June 28 and July 3; Sloezen, Cummings and Moore reached our high point of 7650 meters (25,100 feet). An estimated 18 feet of snow fell during the expedition. We left Base Camp on July 6. Even on the trek out, we were in waist-deep snow and still on snow at Goro camp at 15,000 feet.

Michael Covington