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Thomas Huber and Team To Attempt the Ogre


by Editor

June 08, 2001

Camp4 - Climbing News Archive

This summer, Thomas Huber and two climbing friends (Urs Stocker and Iwan Wolf) are heading to Pakistan in an attempt to climb the Ogre. This daunting peak holds a very special place in the history of mountaineering. It has only been successfully climbed once, by Chris Bonington and Doug Scott in 1977, and even then tragedy nearly overtook the two climbers.

The Ogre is, at 7285 metres, the highest of the Latok peaks, and saw its first ascent by the Brits Doug Scott and Sir Chris Bonington in 1977. This ascent, via the west col and west ridge, is one of the most dramatic epics in mountaineering history. Doug Scott broke both his legs just a few metres below the summit while abseiling down… only after one week battling injury and the elements did they escape this mountain.

Since that first ascent, the Ogre has been attempted by various expeditions, but nobody has yet made it to the top again. I was on the Ogre with my brother Alex in 1999 but failed due to bad weather at a height of just 6,000 metres. The success rate on this peak is extraordinarily low and with this in mind, the Ogre can be called as one of the most difficult mountains in the world – a challenge on which this expedition is focussed.

The Ogre is such a challenge because of its complexity - sheer rock buttresses, ice falls and bristling seracs. Thomas Huber has tried the mountain once with his brother, Alex. He is one of the finest all round mountaineers in the world and armed with this experience of the mountain, he has a very good chance of making the second ascent.

Base Camp is situated at the conjunction of the Uzun-Brakk-glacier and the nameless glacier, which flows from the west face of Latok II. Following the Uzun-Brakk-glacier for 5 km we will reach the Advanced Base Camp, at an altitude of 5,050m, at the base of the Southbutress.

A 200m high and 50 degree steep couloir leads to a col, which marks the start of the climbing. Then, 26 pitches with difficulties up to 5.12a lead to the top of the buttress at approximately 6,450m. Following that, huge 50 degree steep snowslopes on the south face have to be climbed up to the base of the summit-block, where this route will join with the Scott-Bonington route of 1977. Another 200m of difficult rock climbing on this route finally leads to the summit.

So, keep watching for news of what is happening out in Pakistan – it promises to be an exciting few months.

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