American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Asia, Pakistan, Masherbrun Range, Trinity Peak, Northwests Ridge, Attempt; Chogolisa, Northwest Face of Southwest Ridge, Attempt

  • Climbs And Expeditions
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  • Publication Year: 2007

Trinity Peak, northwest ridge, attempt; Chogolisa, northwest face of southwest ridge, attempt. Two days after leaving Hushe village on July 16, we established our base camp at a pleasant site called Xhuspang (4,680m) on the northwest side of the East Gondogoro Glacier. We spent several days acclimatizing around and above this camp, then, due to poor snow conditions caused by the hot summer of 2006, we decided not to attempt the impressive west face of Laila Peak. Instead, Pep Permañé and I devoted our efforts to the northwest ridge of Trinity Peak (a.k.a. Tasa Peak or Tasa Burakha), a ridge leading to the southwest summit (6,614m). On July 24 and 25 we climbed alpine-style 1,700m up the ridge, the first day on excellent granite to grade IV and the second day mixed climbing, first on snow, then ice. However, 300m below the summit, snow conditions deteriorated so badly that we retreated. The descent involved 25 rappels to Gondogoro Glacier. [The southwest summit was reached in 1978 by a Japanese expedition, which sieged the northwest ridge, not realizing that the ca 6,700m central summit was higher. It was reached in 1988 by British climbers Nicolas Hellen and Julius Grainger, either by the same route or the southwest ridge. —Ed.]

On July 29 we crossed the Gondogoro La and established an advanced base camp at Ali Camp on the west side of Vigne Glacier. On July 30 and 31, Jordi “Barraca” Bosch, Ramon Estiu, Pep Permañé, and I climbed the 1,100m northwest face of the southwest ridge of Chogolisa (7,665m), by a route to the right of the line followed in 1986 by the British team that traversed both summits. On the first day we pitched our two tiny tents at 6,000m. The next day we continued to the 6,600m col on the southwest ridge between Chogolisa and Prupuo Barakha [the Kaberi Col, reached from the Kaberi Glacier on the far side in 1975 by Edi Koblmuller's expedition, which made the first ascent of the southwest, highest summit of Chogolisa.] Just below the col we had to climb a serac, where we left a fixed rope. By the afternoon of that second day we were back at Ali Camp. On August 2, Barraca, Estiu, and Permañé reclimbed the face to the col, where they pitched a tent. The next day they found the ridge ahead to be corniced with deep snow. Estiu stopped at 7,100m, but Permañé and Barraca went on without rucksacks until above 7,400m, a point where all difficulties had been overcome. It was snowing and was late, so they did not to push on to the summit. They returned to the tent and the next day reached Ali Camp.

Carles Figueras Torrent, Spain.

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