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Asia, Pakistan, Batura Muztagh, Batura I, Attempt and Tragedy

Batura I, Attempt and Tragedy. Atsushi Inenaga led a team in an attempt on Batura I (7785m) via the south face. Team members were Seki Tsuyoshi, Sugiyama Hirota, Takasaki Wataru and Fujita Yasunobu. Batura I was first scaled by the German climbers in 1976. Polish climbers made the second and third ascents in 1983 and 1988, and for the past 11 years the peak remained unclimbed. Prior to its departure from Islamabad, the team planned to have Base Camp at the Muchichul Glacier at 4000 meters and then fix the route from Camp I at 5000 meters to CII at 6000 meters with 800 meters of ropes. The area is infested with crevasses, and a little higher a moderately steep climb begins which has an avalanche danger above 6000 meters. The last 300 meters near the top offer mixed terrain.

Fujita Yasunobu, Seki Tsuyoshi and Sugiyama Hirota were moving toward the summit from CIII (ca. 6500m) when they sent a radio message to BC saying that they had decided to descend due to bad weather. An avalanche caught the climbers as they descended, sweeping them down 1200 meters to the base of the mountain. The fall was witnessed through binoculars by the two remaining members in BC. No signs were found of the three men.

Asem Mustafa Awan, The Nation, Pakistan