Uli Biaho Tower - American Route - 1979
Uli Biaho Tower, in the Karakoram mountains (Pakistan) was climbed for the first time in 1979 by John Roskelley, Ron Kauk, Bill Forrest and Kim Schmitz
First ascent of Uli Biaho Tower ( 6109m )
1000m, VII, 5.8, A4
3 July 1979
Climbed by John Roskelley, Ron Kauk, Bill Forrest, Kim Schmitz
Four American climbers made the first ascent of the iconic Uli Biaho Tower, in the Baltoro area of Pakistan's Karakoram range, in 1979.
Their route followed a crack system up the centre of the east face, starting at the lowest point of the face.
The climbers - John Roskelley, Ron Kauk, Bill Forrest and Kim Schmitz - operated as two teams, alternating between pushing the route upwards and hauling. Ledges were scarce and small, so the team used hammocks to bivouac.
The upper pitches of the route involved difficult ice and mixed climbing, including a precarious section past the summit ice mushroom.
The climbers reached the summit on 3 July and spent two more nights descending the route.
John Roskelley - usually given to understatement - noted at the end of his account in the American Alpine Journal that the climb was the "first Grade VII completed by Americans." This seems to have been a reference to the book "The Seventh Grade" by Reinhold Messner.
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More about this ascent
Uli Biaho Tower in the Ascent Book
First ascent via Veretenin-Bashkirtsev Route
First ascent via West Face
Uli Biaho Tower, Pakistan
N 35° 44′ 27.6324″ W 76° 7′ 15.0024″