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Asia, Pakistan, Chogolisa Attempt

Chogolisa Attempt. José Bermúdez, Jerry Lovatt, Grant Dixon, Robert Parker and I hoped to climb Chogolisa (7668 meters, 25,158 feet). Parker had to leave on August 1 because of illness. We wanted to make the second ascent of the 1986 British route. This is approached from the East Vigne Glacier and ascends a north-facing slope to the 6800-meter col between Chogolisa and Prupuo Barakha. From there we would have followed the 1975 Austrian first-ascent route to the top. We walked from Hushe to Base Camp with 45 porters in six days. Previous bad weather made conditions on the Gondokoro La (5650 meters) more dangerous than usual. A porter broke a leg in an avalanche and our cook developed acute mountain sickness; he was treated with drugs and a Gamow bag before being evacuated to Skardu by helicopter. Base Camp was established close to the mountain at 5200 meters. Two weeks of bad weather and avalanche risk kept us from more than moving food, fuel and equipment to 5400 meters at the foot of the face. Three days of better weather on August 12 to 14, let us stock lightly Camps I and II at 5900 and 6350 meters. Bad weather then forced us back to Base for six days. Starting on August 21, we moved supplies for six more days to Camp III at 6800 meters. We had to plough through deep snow angled at 35° to 45°, first breaking trail unladen and then carrying a load. The route to the top looked straightforward, but we had a nasty surprise 150 meters above camp. A short section of horizontal ridge was dangerously double-corniced. We assessed the risk and reluctantly decided not to press on past this high point of 6950 meters. Base Camp was dismantled on September 5.

David Hamilton, Alpine Club