World-renowned climber David Lama’s latest expedition has taken him to the peak of Chogolisa. The Karakoram Mountain in Pakistan stands at 7,665 metres tall and its slopes are steeped in mountaineering history.
For over a century the roof shaped peak of Chogolisa has been attracting the attention of those wanting to etch their names into climbing’s history books. Back in 1906 the Duke of Abruzzi set-up a camp on the Chogolisa Saddle at 6,335m. The Duke’s expedition then climbed until 7,498m before weather conditions prevented them from scaling one of the mountain’s two peaks.
Tragedy struck on Chogolisa when Hermann Buhl and Kurt Diemberger attempted the mountains higher peak, Chogolisa I, in 1957 after they had successfully reached the neighbouring Broad Peak behind Marcus Schmuck and Fritz Wintersteller a few weeks earlier. Tyrolean Hermann Buhl, one of the most respected climbers of his time had achieved fame after his solo ascent of Nanga Parbat in 1953. The foto taken after his return to base camp went around the world, as the then 29-year-old seemed to have aged 20 years in the past 40 hours.
On 27 June 1957 Buhl and Diemberger failed to reach the summit of Chogolisa due to a sudden heavy snow storm but things got even worse on their way back down the mountain's east ridge. Buhl suddenly disappeared out of sight after breaking off with a cornice on one of the mountain’s perilous snow overhangs down Chogolisa's vertical north face. His body was never found.
One year after the disappearance of Buhl a climbing team arrived in the area from Japan’s Kyoto University. The Japanese took an extremely methodical approach to their climb and set-up a total of five base camps as they inched their way up the peak. After leaving the fifth and final camp Messers Fujihira and Hirai finally returned to their companions after an 18 hour expedition that had seen them successfully scale Chogolisa II (7,654 metres).
Chogolisa came close to claiming another mountaineering fatality on 2 August 1975 when Buhl's fellow countrymen Eduard Koblmüller, Fred Pressl and Gustav Ammerer finally succeeded in tackling the doom-laden peak I. Koblmüller fell through the snow in the same manner Buhl had done but luckily he was attached to the rest of his party by rope and they were able to pull him to safety.
Now David Lama has successfully challenged himself on Chogolisa, together with his climbing partner Peter Ortner. After conquering this history-charged mountain as well as another famous Karakoram peak – Trango (Nameless) Tower – we shall wait and see what summit David has his sights set on for his next expedition.
- David Lama on Chogolisa - Video
- David Lama in Kashmir
- Flashback on A Patagonian Dream
- David's official site
- David Lama's Facebook page