American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Asia, Pakistan, Peaks above the Biafo Glacier

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 1988

Peaks Above the Biafo Glacier. Matthew Powell, Robert Rider and I of Cambridge University and Bruce Hubbard from St. Andrews University spent 3½ weeks climbing peaks above the Biafo Glacier in July and August. We made three first ascents and carried out a scientific programme for the St. Andrews Botany Department. All were alpine-style, single-day, snow-and-ice climbs. Base Camp was at Ho Bluk at 13,500 feet on the southwest bank of the Biafo. Our first peak, Ho Bluk (5364 meters, 17,600 feet; 35°50'N, 75°42'E) was traversed by its northeast and north ridges on July 30. A short section of mixed climbing on the north ridge added interest to an otherwise easy route. P 18,600 (5669 meters; 35°54'N, 75°43'E) was right under the Ogre. Our route followed a 3000-foot gully up the south end of the Biafo side before taking the southeast ridge to the summit. The 5000-foot route was climbed in 12 hours on August 5. Our main objective, Ghur, (5796 meters, 19,010 feet; 35°52'N, 75°37'E) was climbed from an Advance Base at the junction of the Ghur Glacier tongue and the Biafo. Powell, Hubbard and I took 23 hours on August 11 to climb the north face and descend over a subsidiary peak to the northwest. The descent involved a 1500-foot detour down the south face to avoid dreadful snow conditions on the corniced northwest ridge.

Struan M. Gray, Cambridge University

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