Mustagh tower-7284m seen from Baltoro Glacier as a
gigantic stone axe apparently sheer sided and unclimbable. It was first
climbed from the west by the British in 1956, who made it to the top only five
days ahead of the French, who were approaching from the east.
From the South West route it has four high altitude camps. Camp 1 is after
the ice fall at 16,000ft, following the Upper Chagoran Glacier, above the
White tiger is the Camp 2 at 18000ft, turning toward west ridge after crossing
the snow slope where fixed rope is recommend you reach the Camp 3 at 20,400ft
near the Col (first rock wall), continue climbing the south west ridge after
crossing the Brown Patey camp you are near Camp 4 at 22000ft. The second rock
fall is below to the Sandy hangs 10. Continue further up is the west summit at
23,860ft. The other summit called the east summit. From Skardu, you will jeep
to Askoli, the last village on the trek. A couple long days bring you to Paiju
and the tongue of the Baltoro. Here you will take a rest day as the porters
prepare their food for the glacier. Your next stop is Urdukas, a grassy knoll
located immediately opposite the Trango Towers and Uli Biaho. Two regular days
and a final short day bring you to Base Camp.
Muztagh Tower can be completed in as little as six weeks (Pindi to Pindi)
or as long as nine weeks. The return trip can be arrange over the 5700 meter
Gondogoro La and the beautifully green Hushe Valley from which you return to
Skardu or via the same route.
HISTORY: The 1881 treaty between Russia and China provided for complete
freedom of commerce between the two countries. As a result thereof, Russian
caravans started bringing such quantities of goods into eastern Turkistan as
Indian exports could not compete with. In the interest of trade and strategy,
Youghhusband was sent to Kashgar to take stock of situation. On his way back
to India in 1887, he chose to cross the Karakoram range by Mustagh east Pass
(5422m) which has never been crossed before by a European and had rarely been
crossed by anyone earlier. The crossing of the pass was, therefore, considered
a rare feat of endurance.
It was in 1903 that A.C. Ferber and Honigmann reached the east Mustagh pass
from Baltoro glacier. Their visit was naturally the second visit to the pass
by a European and first by a European from Baltoro Glacier’s side. It was,
however, in 1929 that two parties under the general directions of the Duke of
Spoleto reached Urdukas, s small place on the Baltoro glacier. One surveyed
Concordia and upper Baltoro glacier. The other party, led by Ardito Desio
(subsequently leader of the first successful 1954 K2 expedition), made the
first crossing of the east Mustagh pass since Younghusband’s1887 journey.
In 1947, R.C.F. Schomberg visited Sarpo Laggo glacier and, after crossing
east Mustagh pass, entered Baltoro glacier. It was, however, on the 6th July,
1956 that members of British Baltoro expedition reached Mustagh Tower west
(7270m). On the 7th July, they reached Mustagh Tower east (7273m) from the
north face after setting up four camps. Also in 1956 a French party made the
second ascent of Mustagh Tower.
The nearby Mustagh Tower (north-east ridge), having a height of 7180m was
climbed in 1984 by members of an Anglo-American Karakoram expedition.
Asghar Ali Porik
M/s Jasmine Tours
GPO Box 859, Rawalpindi, Pakistan.
Tel: 0092-51-5586823 Fax: