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

Asia, Pakistan, Great Trango Tower, Northeast Buttress

Great Trango Tower, Northeast Buttress. The northeast buttress of the Great Trango Tower was successfully climbed by Norwegians Hans Christian Doseth and Finn Doeli in 1984 but tragically they both died during the descent. Despite various tries, the climb was not repeated until the Japanese made a variant in 1990. Four Spaniards, Koldo Bayona, Miguel Berasaluce, Adolfo Madinabeitia and Antonio Miranda, approached the region, the first two having the Nameless Tower in mind and the latter two, the Norwegian route on the Great Trango Tower. The road is now complete as far as Askole, but in late July, it was cut and they had to complete the trek to Askole on foot with porters. From there, they continued on to establish Base Camp at 4000 meters on the Dunge Glacier. They carried loads up the threatened corridor to Camp I at the foot of both towers. Bayona decided to leave the expedition and so all three turned to the Great Trango Tower. On August 15, they began their attack on the buttress. After climbing ten pitches and 450 meters, they established Camp II. From there, they followed the 11-pitch Japanese variant. The cracks, dihedrals and vertical rock were as often as not encased in ice. On August 20 at the 18th pitch, the weather turned sour but they sat out a five-day storm in Camp II. By August 28, they had climbed 28 pitches and were 950 meters above the base of the buttress. They climbed another 150 meters and established Camp III, just below the formidable summit tower. A storm on September 1 again coated the tower with ice. They began the climb of the summit tower on the 2nd, finding extraordinarily difficult rock work. Despite leader falls and such, they persisted. Finally, on September 10, they completed the 41st pitch and arrived on the summit after 28 days on the mountain. The descent took them two more days. A full report with photos, map and topo appears on pages 35 to 45 of Desnivel, N° 68, December, 1991.