Baintha Brakk (Ogre), South Buttress Attempt. Our expedition was com posed of Joos Philippens, Gaby Jöbses and climbers Hans Lanters and me. We attempted the 3000-foot-high south buttress tried by British in 1977 and French in 1983. We set up Base Camp at 17,850 feet on the lateral moraine of the Uzun Brakk Glacier. On July 7 and 8 we fixed rope on the first 900 feet of the buttress, including a 300-foot-high wall of A2 or A3 difficulty. Everything was ready for an alpine-style push. After bad weather, we went back on July 15 but the weather worsened again the next day and we sat out four days in Camp II. On July 20 we climbed to a poor bivouac at 20,500 feet, but the next day the weather deterio rated again. After arriving at Base Camp on the 22nd, we got no rest because bears attacked the whole night. On July 27 we reached the previous high point and were disappointed to find that ravens had destroyed the food we had left there. We had to descend in fine weather. In the couloir my shoulder was injured by rockfall. At Base Camp, we discovered that Gaby had evacuated it to the camp of an American expedition on the Biafo Glacier. Bears had struck again and ruined a tent and our remaining food. The bear population is becoming a real problem for climbers in the Biafo area.
Roland Bekendam, Koninklijke Nederlandse Alpen Vereniging