AAC Publications - http://publications.americanalpineclub.org

Asia, Pakistan, Gasherbrum I and II, Ascents, Attempts and Tragedy

Gasherbrum I and II, Ascents, Attempts and Tragedy. Our international expedition of 13, led by Peter Guggemos (Germany), successfully saw 11 summiting GII and one reaching the top of GI. The weather was persistently stormy and, aside from a week of fair skies at the beginning of July, afforded only isolated clear days. On July 31, having already summited GII, Toni Hinterplattner (Austria) and Guggemosset set out from CII at 6500 meters on Gasherbrum La for a fast and light summit bid on GI. A severe storm forced them to retreat only ca. 20 meters short of the summit. On the descent, a small avalanche threw Toni off balance. He fell ca. 200 meters, sustaining two broken ribs and a tib/fib fracture which, during his subsequent descent of over 1000 meters, turned into a compound fracture. After bivouacking with Peter in the storm at ca. 7400 meters, Toni descended to CII on his own, where a rescue party organized from BC (5100m) was able to reach him and transport him to BC for a helicopter ride out. Two members of a four-person Japanese expedition, last seen by Peter and Toni near the summit of GI, disappeared in this same storm. Their comrades went up in an attempt to find them and also disappeared.

Hjordis Rickert