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The Mountains of Pakistan: Mustagh Tower-7284 meters


Mustagh Tower-7284m

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

Managing Director

M/s Jasmine Tours

GPO Box 859, Rawalpindi, Pakistan.

Tel: 0092-51-5586823 Fax: 0092-51-5584566

email: jtours@apollo.net.pk

web: www.jasminetours.com

 

 

 

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