American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Asia, Pakistan, Baltoro Muztagh, Gasherbrum IV (7980m), Attempt of West Face

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 2004

Gasherbrum IV (7,980m), attempt at west face. Andrew Lindblade and Athol Whimp made two attempts on Gasherbrum IV. Their main aim was the second ascent of the celebrated 1985 Route on the 2,500m west face climbed by Voytek Kurtyka and Robert Schauer, a climb that many people acknowledge to be one of the greatest alpine style ascents ever made in the Greater Ranges. Lindblade and Whimp were plagued by the bad weather that affected everyone in the region. On their main attempt they had one clear day, during which they climbed the initial couloir, but then the weather broke and there was heavy snowfall. Life became a survival issue as they waited inside their small tent. At one point it cleared and they managed to get a little higher on the very loose mixed ground of the main face. However, they were constantly battered by snow, wind, and spindrift slides, and when they eventually ran out of food and gas, having reached a height of ca 6,800m, there was no option but to go down. Another attempt, this time on the northwest ridge (first ascended in June 1986 by Greg Child, Tom Hargis, and Tim Macartney-Snape), was again thwarted by bad weather at around half-height.

Lindsay Griffin, U.K.

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