American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Asia, Pakistan, Hidden Peak (Gasherbrum I) Attempt

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 1996

Hidden Peak (Gasherbrum I) Attempt. Our team on Hidden Peak included Georgie Powers, Carlos Buhler, Mark Newcomb, Marc Appling, Greg Collins and me. The trek to Base Camp started in Dassu and went smoothly. We reached Base Camp on August 4. After two weeks of climbing and acclimatizing we had installed Camps 1 and 2 at 19,600 feet and 22,000 feet below the Japanese Couloir. Our plans were to climb this route to warm up and then try a new route on the south side of the mountain. The evening of August 13th a big wind blew from China. (This storm killed 7 climbers on K2.) Our next foray was thwarted by storm; we never again saw clear skies for more than a day. When one of the bigger storms finally cleared on September 6th, deep snow and avalanche hazard reduced our summit hopes to retrieving our equipment from Camps 1 and 2. At midnight on September 7th we headed up the mountain one last time in deep snow. Camp 1 was almost totally buried and Camp 2 was cemented in place by extremely hard windpack. We cleaned the bulk of our gear off the mountain while Carlos and Mark Newcomb made one final attempt on the summit on September 7 and 8. It turned out that our porters and porters for a German team tried to climb over Gondogoro La to reach us the day after the big storm. Six of the men slated to work for the Germans were avalanched; one was killed in the accident.

Phil Powers

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