American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Asia, Pakistan, Hispar Muztagh, Pumari Chhish, South Face, Attempt

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 2000

Pumari Chhish, South Face, Attempt. The south face of Pumari Chhish (7492m) rises 3000 meters from the Jutmal Glacier. This complex face is threatened on most aspects by high hanging seracs, and the line Julie-Ann Clyma and I took followed an obvious spur on the left side. From ABC (ca. 4570m), a day was spent reaching the lower part of the spur (ca. 5400m). This involved an approach on easy but threatened snow slopes and then technical rock climbing (HVS) followed by 55-degree ice slopes. After a day stopped by snowfall, a traverse across the lower part of the face and an ascent of a hanging face (60° ice) led to an open bivouac at ca. 5900 meters. A further day in very bad weather led to a precarious camp at ca. 6200 meters. This was the maximum height reached before a descent was made back down the route.

The weather conditions were extremely unstable throughout the expedition. Snow fell on all but five days. Retreat from the highpoint was necessitated by the weather and extreme avalanche conditions. Thirty- six hours were spent with avalanches passing around and over the tent. There were no accidents to expedition members or support staff.

We were very fortunate to obtain a permit within one month of applying to the Ministry of Tourism. They were very accommodating to our tight time schedule, and with the help of our agent, Nazir Sabir Expeditions, we were able to arrive in Islamabad and leave for the mountains on the same day.

Roger Payne, British Mountaineering Council

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