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Asia, Pakistan, Broad Peak Ascent and Attempts

Broad Peak Ascent and Attempts. As in previous years, a number of expeditions attempted to climb Broad Peak, mostly by the normal route. An international group of eight climbers from seven different countries was organized commercially and guided by Welchman Martin Barnicott and New Zealander Russell Brice. Although their Romanian member joined an American party and made the ascent, they were not successful. Their attempt is described below. A South Korean expedition led by Yoon Hyun-Jong worked hard on the standard route, fixing great lengths of rope and demanding payment from other groups for the use of them. Eventually they had to give up at 7500 meters. A six-member British team led by Roger Payne was the only party that planned a route different from the standard one on the Pakistani flank. They reconnoitered both the southwest face and the south ridge from the Broad Glacier, near Concordia. Having reached 5400 meters, they found both routes feasible but avalanche-prone at that time. In order to acclimatize for a later attempt, they climbed to 7650 meters on the standard route, but persistent bad weather forced them to cancel their originally planned attempt. Another British team led by Tim Williams reached a high point of 6900 meters in mid June. A German expedition led by Helmut Förster also failed. The only ascent of the main summit was made by a mixed group from various expeditions that collaborated in the final attack. On August 6, six climbers started from Camp III at 7350 meters. From an American expedition were leader David Hambly and Scott McKee. Antonio Tapiador and Pedro Rodríguez were members of a Spanish commercial group led by Carlos Soria. Eudald Martínez was a member of a Spanish Catalan party led by Miquel Casas. The sixth was Romanian Constatin Lacatusu, mentioned above. Depite frostbitten toes, he was determined to reach the summit. The main summit (8047 meters, 26,400 feet) was reached at 5:30 P.M. and shortly thereafter. For Hambly, this was his second 8000er. Lacatusu became the first Romanian to climb an 8000er, but he paid a high price for it; with severely frozen feet, he had to be evacuated from Base Camp by helicopter. Two members of a Mexican K2 expedition, Mexican Héctor Ponce de León and Swede Johan Lagne, made an attempt on Broad Peak, reaching the foresummit (8030 meters, 26,346 feet) on August 5 in unsettled weather. A Chilean expedition led by Claudio Gálvez was delayed for three weeks in Islamabad and arrived at Base Camp on August 8. Towards the end of the month, they had to give up their attempt at 7300 meters because of bad weather. The middle summit of Broad Peak was climbed from China as described elsewhere in this Journal.

Xavier Eguskitza, Pyrenaica, Bilbao, Spain