The Kutcher family
Update: Climbers please report in if you
have seen Erica Kutcher in Pakistan. Concern is very high
for Erica; she was last seen taking a hike in the Shipton
Spire area according to her family. Friends of climbers in Pakistan, please
ask your climbers to be on the look out for Erica and report in with
woman, Erica Kutcher,
has been declared
missing on a trekking / mountaineering Expedition on Shipton Spire 5900m a
rock tower two hours walk from Trango Tower as the mountain is below 6500m it
called trekking party as per the new law. The low budget expedition were on
trekking permit from Government of Pakistan.
July, 2005 Army helicopters searched on the request of the expedition but now
the search operation has been postponed due to undisclosed reasons. We here
would like to clarify that until now there is no one missing or died on K2
this year. We will further up-to-date you on this matter.
operators of Shipton Spire Expedition state that a Erica Kutcher is missing.
She was part of Shipton Spire 5900m Expedition. On request of expedition
members a search operation has taken by the Army helicopters on 11 of July,
2005. But could not found her an FIR (First Investigation Report) has been
registered in Skardu with police as per local law. Ali Khan guide of the
expedition is also searching with the help of dozens of porters. Also a Korean
Expedition in the same area is helping with the search operation.
Please be remember this is
not a snow mountain area, it is rock mountain area with lots of beautiful rock
towers like Trango, Shipton Spire, Hina Brakk and many more. It is about 3 to
4 days walk from Askole the last village. And it is very close to army base in
Piaju (here helicopters normally refuel).
The family is requesting help from any in the
area to attempt to find Erica... The location where she when missing is not
known to EverestNews.com, nor the reason why she sent missing. We are only
told by the family she went for a "hike", and did not return.
Background on Shipton Spire:
Three miles across the Trango Glacier and just above the confluence of
the North and South Hainablak glaciers was the elusive Shipton Spire. It rises
out of the ice without hesitation; its walls looked fierce and steep.
It wasn't until the summer of 1996 that a strong North American/Australian
team finally conquered Shipton Spire 5900m. In 1995 Ryuji Taniguchi, the solo
Japanese climber perished in a massive rock fall while attempting the wall.
His haul bag was still 13 pitches up.
And in 1997 Jared Ogred and Mark Synnott made a New Route, Ship of Fools on
Shipton Spire. Since then many climbers from around the world including
Cecilia, Nan Darkis, Lizzy Scully, Charles Boyd, Greg Child, Greg Foweraker
tried their luck on this rock tower and a few like Fabio Dandri who makes the
Women and Chalk route and Jared Ogred and Mark Synnott who makes the Ship of
Fools route got success.
The climbing is hard. A long unprotected traverse across mixed ground over
the north face led to a steep section of crumbling rock with the consistency
of kitty litter.
Shipton Spire stands two hours walk from Trango Towers Group on Upper
Trango Glacier. A 29 pitch, 4,400 foot big-wall with the pitch rated 6c, 7b
and 7b+ that is certainly offer best technical climb you ever have.
From Islamabad a 24 hours drive will bring you to the gateway of Karakoram
mountain Skardu Valley. After making final arrangement another 8 hours jeep
drive and a 5-6 days walk will bring you to the base of Shipton Spire.
20 days for climbing from Base Camp and 15 days for Islamabad to base camp
and back to Islamabad. No peak permit is require, simply get a trekking permit
and travel with your guide.
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