ON 13 JULY WE REACHED BAR, at the end of the dusty road from Chalt in the Hunza valley. Following the course of the Kukuar glacier we walked for 5 days to the base camp at 4200 m (with 27 porters). We found lots of old snow. We intended to make an attempt on the summit, following the route a Japanese expedition had explored in 1988.1 After advancing through the first two ice walls and after spending one night at 5000 m we decided to make an attempt in alpine style.
We left base camp on 25 July in rather poor conditions and in snowfall. Hans Jud could not come with.us since he was suffering from diarrhoea. On the second day we set up our second camp just above the ice wall (at about 5700 m). On the third day Braun and Bleicher climbed the 400 m ice-face (up to 65°) above C2 in very poor conditions (powdery snow). Since we had only light equipment with us we couldn't fix ropes on the ice-face. Therefore, we installed another route across the steep rocks to the left of the ice-face, returning to C2. That day Ketterer and Kiimmer went down to get more equipment (ice-screws and ropes) from Cl. In the evening we had a doudless sky and it looked as if we could expect a spell of excellent weather for some days to come.
On the fourth day, four of us climbed the ice-face and we also managed to fix about 200 m above the very steep ridge which is formed by the western face and the north face (upto 65°). At 6300 m we managed to find some room for both our tents at the edge of a crevasse. We had expected to reach the summit on the fifth day, but the last day had been rather hard and since there was no sign of weather conditions worsening we decided to take a rest in C3. The sixth day was a beauty and we had no difficulty reaching the summit within 5 hours inspite of the deep powdery snow on the steep north face. It was not possible, though, to actually get on top of the highest point due to its steepness and since a huge snow-cornice towered above it. So we had to stay roughly 5 m beneath the actual summit.2 We were able to enjoy the spectacular view in absolutely calm weather for a considerable time before we finally returned to C3. On the seventh day (30 July) we succeeded in reaching base camp in 9 hours in steadily worsening weather conditions. Unfortunately we were forced to leave behind 200 m of ropes including abseil-loops. Jud and myself were still badly suffering from diarrhoea (since reaching C3) and therefore we had to return as fast as possible for medical treatment to Gilgit.
1. See H.J. Vol. 40, p. 204.
Members: Arnfried Braun, Hans Jud, Daniel Ketterer, Leo Klimmer and Hubert Bleicher (leader).
Summary: An ascent of Sani Pakush (6885 m) by a German team on 29 July 1990.
2 See correspondence on a similar situation on Swargarohini peak and the opinion by U.I.A.A., H.J. Vol. 48, p. 241. - Ed.