American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Asia, Pakistan, Mustagh Tower

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 1991

Mustagh Tower. Our Swedish expedition managed to put two men on the summit of the Mustagh Tower (7273 meters, 23,862 feet) when Göran Kropp and Anders Rafael Hensen reached the top via the northwest ridge on August 17. This was the fourth successful ascent. We placed Base Camp at 4700 meters above the Mustagh Glacier on July 10 and immediately began the tedious work of route-finding up the Chagran Icefall. The distance between Base Camp and Camp III is 22 kilometers. We pitched five camps and fixed 1200 meters of rope. Contrary to earlier climbs, we placed Camps I and II at 5400 and 5900 meters on July 15 and 19 on the northwest side of the Chagran Glacier and therefore could make a shortcut up to the great couloir at the base of the Mustagh Tower. This approach was less demanding and less avalanche exposed than the original route on the other side of the glacier. Camps III, IV and V were established at 6400, 6800 and 7100 meters on July 29 and August 11 and 15. In spite of collapsing séracs on the ridge, mildly frostbitten fingers and a fixed rope that broke during a rappel, the team suffered no severe incidents. Extremely loose rock was a major hazard. Much snow on the ridge enabled us to avoid most of the rock climbing, but this built up dangerous séracs. The other members of the expedition were leader Ola Hillberg, Anders Nygren, Erik Ringius and I.

Magnus Nilsson, Skånes Climbing Club, Sweden

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