The World's Most Sheer Verticals
Few know that besides the K-2, the Karakorams of Pakistan have another unique natural feature that stands out so clearly and attract mountaineers from all over the world. The Great Trango Towers at 6,286 metres (20608 ft) - part of the Trango massif, located across the Baltoro Glacier are the world's most sheer vertical falls and rock features. The Towers is surrounded by Lupsand tower Uhli Beaho Tower, Muztagh Tower Biange Tower and Paiyu Peak. The Trango Towers consist of four summits with sharp ridges. Great Trango is rather a large peak with three main summits, all over 6000 meters. The Trango massif is surrounded by high mountains such as K2, the Gasherbrums, and Broad Peak, all rising more than 8000 metres (26,200 ft) above sea level. The climbing route is deceptively straightforward, ascending from the Trango glacier to the summit of Great Trango - but a wonderful experience for climbers wanting a taste of the best that the Himalaya can offer without the extreme altitude.
Great Trango Tower was first climbed in 1977 by Galen Rowell, John Roskelly, Kim Schmitz and Dennis Hennek by the easiest route up the western side. The east face of Great Trango is the world's tallest vertical rock face, and was first climbed in 1984 by the Norwegians Hans Christian Doseth and Finn Dæhli, who were killed on the descent. The 5000 foot Norwegian Buttress was the first route established on the massive East Face, which led to the first ascent of the East Summit (6231 meters).
Nameless Tower is more featured than Great Trango with more cracks and possible lines. Routes on Nameless are approached from either the Trango or Dungee Glaciers, while Great Trango's wall routes are approached from the Dungee Glacier. Great Trango's approach is more serious and dangerous than the Nameless approaches. It never got excessively windy and the storms were generally mild, though at times they got fierce. Later in the season is also considered fine (August, September), but the frequency of avalanches increases later in the season making some of the approaches too dangerous. This area of the Himalaya sees very little monsoon action. Many of the routes have been established with siege tactics (i.e. large quantities of fixed ropes) which is a more cautious method of ascent but cumbersome and time consuming. The Norwegian Buttress was established in the purest of pure form, with only six ropes used for the entire climb.
Africans take Trango Tower |
Great Trango Tower Climbing Expedition |
Tower, Northwest Face |
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