Occasional Climber

Baltistan – Concordia to Gondogoro BC, August 1997 & 92

Crossing to the South side of the Baltoro glacier, en route to the Vigne glacier. Here Mitre Peak pierces the blue-black sky
The "A" team plods on to the Vigne glacier. The striking tower on the left is Muztagh Tower (7,273m). The very sharp rock peak is Cristal Peak (6,252m) and the snow pyramid behind is Skilbrum (7,360m)
A closer view of mighty Muztagh Tower (7,273m)
The further up the Vigne glacier we progressed, the more impressive became the views of K2, as the effects of foreshortening fell away
This vista encompasses, from left, Cristal, Skilbrum, Marble, Angel, K2 and Broad Peak
K2 in her full splendor, viewed from about one third of the way up the Vigne glacier. The Balti name for K2 is Chogori, meaning “great mountain”
Looking up the Vigne glacier towards Gondogoro La, with the Western flanks of Vigne peak at left
Vigne glacier was like an ice highway, complete with centre lines
Despite the remoteness, Vigne glacier was a busy byway for trekking groups, sometimes scores at a time
Two-legged ants make their way up towards the foot of Gondogoro La
Fluted ice walls on Vigne, viewed from Ali Camp at about 5,000m
Seen from the East, above Ali Camp, was our intended route over Gondogoro La (5,940m) – here, the little notch just left of top centre
Having a brew to keep warm as we waited for the rising full moon to illuminate our path across Vigne glacier and Gondogoro La
Moon rise over Vigne Peak
A brief photo stop on top of Gondogoro La (5,940m). It was 10pm, with a bitterly cold wind straight off K2. The summits of K2 and Broad Peak are clearly visible
At 3.40 AM in the onset of a cloudy gray dawn, we set off across Gondogoro glacier towards the pass. Rozi Ali was worth his weight in gold as he expertly guided us past numerous crevasses (First visit 1992)
Even without a backpack to contend with, this climb was demanding in the thin cold air above 5,000 metres. Although the view of K2 on the other side of the pass was not at its best due to the cloudy conditions, the sight back down from where we had climbed made every gasping step well worth the effort (First visit 1992)
Due to the treacherous footing encountered on our descent, it was prudent to rope up with our sure-footed Rozi Ali. However, with each downward step the going got easier as our lungs sucked in thicker air again (First visit 1992)
Dawn at High Camp (5,100m), on the West (Hushe) side of Gondogoro La. The pass is a little to the left, above Ibrahim's (red jacket) head
At high camp at 5,100 metres, the clouds cleared for a while to reveal this spectacular sight. Gondogoro La is just to the left of this picture (First visit 1992)  > Gondogoro Base Camp to Hushe

To order a print or web resolution file of any image you see in this slide show, just right click the image, click “Copy Image URL” and paste in to the “Your message” box of our Contact Us form. Please also note, for each image, if you want a print or web resolution file. We will get back to you as soon as possible to confirm price and payment details.
Open Contact Us in a new window to paste Image URL(s) easily

Image specifications, pricing and licensing agreement