American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Asia, Pakistan, Baintha Brakk, Southeast Ridge, and Latok I, North Ridge, Attempts

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 1997

Baintha Brakk, Southeast Ridge, and Latok I, North Ridge, Attempts. During July and August, nine climbers performing as two teams attempted to make the first ascents of both the north ridge of Latok I and the southeast pillar of Baintha Brakk (the Ogre). Base camp was high on the Choktoi Glacier. Dave Wills and Brendan Murphy made three attempts on Latok, climbing in pure alpine style. Their best attempt was the first. They reached a high point of 6200 meters after three days of continuously difficult climbing (up to Scottish VI) before a cornice collapse led to a rucksack being lost and enforced a retreat. Two subsequent attempts were halted by bad weather. On the Ogre, Rich Cross, Matt Dickenson, Adam Jackson, Al Powell, Nick Williams, Julian Wood and I employed fixed ropes on the icefall’s slopes to col 5600m and the initial rock pillar. The col was reached after nearly three weeks of effort; I took little part due to a twisted ankle. Food shortages, caused by raven raids on the col, meant that only Dickenson and Powell were in a position to fix to the top of the buttress and make an attempt from there in alpine style. They reached 6850 meters—the base of the final difficulties—before being caught by weather. Despite waiting two days they were forced to retreat. The route includes difficult rock (El) and mixed (Scottish VI) climbing. Storms plagued the last days of the expedition but considerable effort was made to strip all camps and fixed ropes.

Andy MacNae, British Mountaineering Council

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