American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Asia, Pakistan, Gasherbrum I (Hidden Peak)

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 1995

Gasherbrum I (Hidden Peak). Our commercial expedition led by Briton Jonathan Pratt and me from the United States consisted of eleven climbers, of whom six reached the summit, and six trekkers, one of whom got to 6500 meters. We were of six nationalities. The normal south-facing route on Gasherbrum I is closed due to the Pakistani-Indian war. The north couloir, which we climbed, is a slash of snow cut into the rocky north face, which allows passage from the 6400-meter Gasherbrum La to the upper snowfields at 7000 meters. Above the La, a snow slope turns to 40° rock, then narrows to a rocky, snow-choked couloir of 50° between jagged cliffs, in which we fixed 700 meters of rope. After 500 meters, the chute widens into a 40° snow slope and ascends to a shoulder on the north ridge, where we placed Camp III at 7400 meters. From Camp III to the summit, a wide 40° snow slope with interspersed rock ridges runs to 7900 meters and then steepens to 50° loose rock with deep snow. On August 4, Pratt, Frenchmen Jean-Michel Meunier and Frank Lévy and Swiss Markus Staehelin climbed to the summit. From August 8 to 11, Briton Dr. Andrew Collins and I were storm-bound at Camp III but on August 12, we also reached the top. Two other summit attempts failed in bad weather. Pratt and Collins were the first British climbers to ascend Gasherbrum I. Pratt, Staehelin and Lévy participated in an all-night rescue to save the life of Nail Dervisevic, a Bosnian climber who suffered a stroke that paralyzed his left side. The victim was dragged from Camp II on Gasherbrum II on a make-shift sled made from two blue barrels. He had lain in his tent for three days before our members could get to him. We tried to scrub the mountain squeaky clean, extending our efforts to all camps on Gasherbrum I and to Camps I and II on Gasherbrum II as well as to Base Camp.

Daniel Lee Mazur

This AAJ article has been reformatted into HTML. Please contact us if you spot an error.