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Asia, Pakistan, Masherbrum Mountains, Amin Brakk, West Face, Attempt

Amin Brakk, West Face, Attempt. The team members of the Korean Alpine Club Amin Brakk Expedition were Young Soon Hwang, Jung Ho Bang, Dong Chul Shin, Myoung Rae Kim and Ihn Soo Park. The team departed Seoul May 22 and established Base Camp at 4200 meters on May 30. The first portaledge camp was set up on June 13 at 5250 meters. On June 18, the second portaledge camp was established at 5450 meters, and the next day, all members bivouacked at 5700 meters. On June 20, Young Soon Hwang, Jung Ho Bang and Ihn Soo Park reached 5800 meters. They had climbed 24 pitches to this point, fixing rope from the start of the climbing at 4800 meters to the bivouac point at 5700 meters. The most difficult pitch had been a five-tiered roof (A4) above the first portaledge camp at 5250 meters. At 5650 meters, they found a blue haulbag and a 35-liter rucksack from the 1996 Spanish team’s attempt in which a 10.5mm rope, Friends, belay seat, climbing clothes and a 16mm video camera were packed. Mr. Hwang asked their Pakistan cook, Ssadic, to give the video camera to the Spanish team’s leader. But the other equipment in the bag was left where it was found. The team also found several carabiners clipped to pitons below 5650 meters that they exchanged for their Korean Trango carabiners.

On June 21 at noon, they decided to descend because of heavy snowfall and strong winds. Mr. Hwang said it was very hard to decide to descend, but one of his members, Jung Ho Bang, was in too poor condition to attack the summit. Mr. Hwang said, “When I decided to give up on the summit with only 100 meters to go, it reminded me of a phrase from Joe Tasker’s book, K2. Tasker wrote, ‘Though we could not ascend the summit of K2, we knew that the most important thing is not [the] peak but the long distance traveled […toward] K2 itself.’” At 5800 meters, they left a bolt and a cam nut. On the descent, they left 20 Trango carabiners, taking the Spanish (Bonati) carabiners in their place. They also left a hanging cook set (because it was cracked) at 5700 meters. The team did not retrieve their ropes after their descent. BC was closed on June 22, and the team arrived home in Korea on June 29.

On the way out, they met three Czech climbers (see below) and showed them their climbing video from Amin Brakk. But the Korean team’s English was too poor to explain detailed things.

Kim, Woo-Sun, South Korea