AAC Publications - http://publications.americanalpineclub.org

Asia, Pakistan, Shishpare Attempt, Batura Mustagh

Shispare Attempt, Batura Mustagh. Our members included Kenichi Masui, Yasuyuki Uehara, Tatsuya Ohmura, Takayuki Tachibana, Yetetsu Adachi and me as leader. Our Base Camp at 4050 meters on the left moraine of the Pasu Glacier was established on June 13. On June 18, we crossed the glacier and set up Camp I on the far side at the upper end of a steep gully that led to the east ridge of Shispare (7619 meters, 24,997 feet). It took twelve days to extend the route along the long, narrow ridge to Camp II at 5600 meters. We found some decayed rope and rusted pitons from the Polish-German party 15 years earlier. At the 5800-meter junction of the east and main ridges with its massive pile of ice blocks covered by deep snow, we wondered if this was where the Polish-German expedition had met with the avalanche; the area above threatened to avalanche at any moment. The weather turned bad as we reached Camp III at 6100 meters on July 12. An ice wall on a 6300-meter peak took a week to overcome. Then came a long, snow-covered knife-edge. We continued on to a col at 6450 meters, the site of Camp IV. Three members then had to return to Japan on July 26, leaving Ohmura, Adachi and me. We established Camp IV on July 29. A further camp between Ghenta Peak and the shoulder of Shispare was not set up because of a shortage of time. We made the first summit attempt from Camp IV on August 8, taking many hours to climb the last hanging glacier. We then trudged through two feet of snow to a cirque at 7200 meters but could go no higher. The next day, despite signs of unfavorable weather, we made a second attempt into a strong head wind in waist-deep snow. We turned back 100 meters lower than the day before.

Masato Okamoto, Ryukoku University Alpine Club, Japan