Gasherbrum IV, Northwest Ridge, Ascent. Jae Soo Kim (expedition leader), Young Tae Kim (climbing leader), and expedition members Oun Bea Kim, Seong-Sang Kim, Min-Gi Jo, Yong Gun Kim, Il-Oong Jung, Dong-Ho Seo, Seong-Cheol Kim, Chi-Won Yun, Yeon-Ryong Kang, Jung-Hun Han and Jin-Ok Park departed from Seoul on May 8. On May 22, the team set up Base Camp at 4900 meters. Other camps were established as follows: Camp I (5400m), May 27; CII (6400m), June 3; CIII (6800m), June 8; CIV (7400m), June 15. On June 28, the first summit attempt failed due to bad weather. On June 31, CV was set up at 7800 meters. We left CV for the summit at 4 a.m. July 1, and at 4:15 p.m. Chi-Won Yun and Yeon-Ryong Kang set foot on top.
As a whole, Gasherbrum IV’s northwest ridge has a route as long as that of other 8000-meter mountains, which is why we planned our climbing style as a mix of polar (expedition) method and alpine style. The terrain between camps I and II comprised a lot of snow and ice; this section required 14 hours of work a day for four days to fix the rope and set up CII. The wind between camps II and III was very strong. There was a moderately difficult rock face between camps III and IV. In particular, the lower part of the summit section was without snow and ice, and camming units were very useful here. We found two carabiners with something like the words BEDAYN CALIFORNIA on them. I hope that I can find the owner of these two carabiners.
We had enough rock climbing gear to climb the south face as well when we were finished with the northwest ridge, but the weather didn’t allow us to do that.
Chi-Won Yon, South Korea