American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Asia, Pakistan, Broad Peak Attempt and Ghondokhoro La

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 1993

Broad Peak Attempt and Ghondokhoro La. An Himalayan Kingdom expedition was led by Welshman Martin Barnicott with climbing leader Russell Brice from New Zealand. The clients were Italian Fulvio Fresia, Canadian Dr. Stuart Hutchinson, Finn Mikko Valanne, Englishman David Craven, Romanian Constantin Lacatusu and I as the lone American. After crossing a broken bridge in Dassu and later, after rebuilding a washed out road, we left the roadhead, Askole, on June 18 and arrived at Base Camp beneath the standard west-spur route of Broad Peak on June 23. We established Camps I, II and III at 5800, 6700 and 7300 meters on June 28, July 2 and 8. After a few days of rest at Base Camp during inclement weather, we returned on July 15 to the site of Camp III, which had disappeared, presumably in an avalanche. We abandoned the climb due to the deep and unstable snow. Lacatusu remained behind, joined an American expedition and reached the summit of Broad Peak in early August. Leaving Base Camp on July 22, we hiked out over the Ghondokhoro La (35°39'0"N, 76°29'30''E) and arrived in Hushe on July 25. In 1911, the Workmans visited the Ghondokhoro Glacier and determined that no pass led to the Baltoro Glacier. The 1955 Harvard expedition came to the same conclusion. However, Sirdar Mohammad Fakhar-ul-Haq led trekkers across it in 1989. Since then a number of expeditions and trekking groups have crossed the pass, which I found to be a simple route. We ascended the western branch of the Vigne Glacier to where my altimeter read 5730 meters. The southern side had some steep loose rock and scree, leading to the northern lateral moraine of the Ghondokhoro Glacier. The porters from Hushe crossed the pass without undue difficulty.

Robert J. Secor

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