Asia, Pakistan, Gasherbrum IV, South Ridge Attempt

Publication Year: 1989.

Gasherbrum IV, South Ridge Attempt. We were Geoff Hibbert, Phil Thornhill, Martin Hind, Pakistani liaison officer Rozi Ali and I. We suffered a porter strike at Dassu; the porters demanded an extra 400 rupees each but settled for 200 rupees. This took all our reserve money. The journey to Base Camp was uneventful. At Concordia Hibbert fell ill and deteriorated seriously as we reached Base Camp on May 26. I called in a Czechoslovakian doctor and an army doctor. As neither knew what he was suffering from, we called for a helicopter. Hours before it arrived, he got up from what had seemed to be his death bed. The doctors decided he could stay. The other three of us began carrying up the icefall on the 28th with Rozi Ali helping. Hibbert started working on June 3. The approach to the ridge is about eight miles along the East Gasherbrum Glacier with dangerous crevasses at the top of the icefall. We set up three camps. The ridge proper and Camp III were reached in three days of climbing and most of the hardware and ropes were carried and dumped there at 23,000 feet. Climbing onto the ridge involved mixed terrain and hard ice with poor belays and rockfall. Because of the rockfall, we moved this camp to a lower site on a subsidiary ridge. Relationships within the team were not good and as we moved back up on June 27 after a rest at Base Camp, we decided to abandon the trip.

Dai Lampart, British Mountaineering Council