American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Bublimotin Attempt

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

Bublimotin Attempt. Our team consisted of "Ladyfmger" (Bublimotin) veteran Dave Towse (Brit), seasoned alpinists Gavin Jordan (Brit), James Darnell (Southern boy), and me. After a long, dangerous, and somewhat unsuccessful approach, James and Gav decided to muster up more porters and head to more remote corners of the Karakoram, while Dave and I headed back up in an alpine push to the base of the wall. The approach via the never-ending couloir took us a heart-rending three days. On the ledge system beneath Jim Beyer's route, we decided our meager provisions would not allow any drawn-out heroic first ascent stuff, so we decided to blast up the Beyer route instead. The lower section was familiar ground to Dave from his 1988 attempt, and he insisted on an all-day leading session, then jugged 300 feet of very furry fixed line that he left during his epic retreat seven years ago. Later, we moved bags, bodies and a fully intact double portaledge 450 feet up the wall to our new high point. I led a quite naughty little crack pitch, which landed me below an imposing fifty-foot flake. The whole thing was completely detached, tapering down to a hairline crack on its underbelly. Dave led it, then hauled up the aid rack and began to work the thin seam above — his first aid climb. As I launched up into a section of hollow-sounding flakes that offered fairly decent placement, I risked a little free climbing, and landed at a wildly exposed ledge, finally offering a close-up view of the upper face. The much-longed for alpine ridge lay safely beyond a seemingly endless myriad of thin seams and bland, overhanging corners. We had half a day's food left. The following day we descended to the ledges at the base of the wall. We picked a totally random time of 4:45 p.m. for the big flee and beat it back to Karimabad.

Roger “Strappo” Hughes, inebriated

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