American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Asia, Pakistan, K7 Attempt

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 1994

K7 Attempt. K7 (6934 meters, 22,750 feet) lies at the head of the Charakusa Glacier in the Hushe valley. Japanese climbed it in 1984, but it has resisted nine other attempts. After delays, Britons Bob Brewer, Greg Cotterill, Denis Gleeson, Mark Berisford and I as leader and American Roger Whitehead established Base Camp on July 10. First inspection of the southwest ridge showed considerably more snow and ice than during our 1990 attempt. We began the climb on July 12 at 4300 meters. The approach was straightforward except for the avalanches hurtling down the Japanese couloir that we had to cross to gain the southwest ridge. We established Camp II at 5100 meters within seven days, but two of those up high had problems. Gleeson had damaged his hands and Whitehead had a time constraint. Cotterill took their place with Brewer and me. We pushed on to Camp II at 5500 meters, where a violent storm trapped us for three days before we could descend to Base. Three days later, we were back at Camp II, joined by Berisford. Camp III was reached on July 29 and Tower 3 climbed in two days. Brewer and I got to the “Coffin Bivy” on August 3, only to be trapped for five days. We four reached Camp V at 6000 meters on August 9. The difficult 300-meter “Fortress” section yielded after three days. Stoves failed. Food was low because ravens raided a supply dump. We had hoped that the top of the Fortress would have a camp site on its top, but it was in fact a knife-edged ridge. Another violent storm came in. With still a week of climbing left to reach the summit, we descended over two days in storm. We had spent 32 continuous days on the face and on 26 of those it had snowed.

Dai Lampard, Alpine Climbing Group

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