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  American Erica Kutcher: Donations in her memory

Copyright© The Kutcher family

Update: Donations in tribute to Erica can be made to:

UVM Outing Club
Erica Kutcher Memorial Fund 
Department of Student Life
48 University Place 
Burlington, VT 05405

Update: Her body was found near Shipton Spire base camp and brought down to Skardu and now operators are organizing to bring  down the body by PIA (Pakistan International Airline) to Islamabad where it will be handover to US embassy in Islamabad for further transfer of the body to USA.

Update: Erica's body was found buried  under an avalanche near base camp according to sources in Pakistan and her family.

Update: The local operators have told our representative in Pakistan that they had sent more porters to help with search operation for the missing climber.

But now the doubts are that she may have been fallen into any of the crevasses around base camp of Shipton Spire. After having lunch 6 days ago she told the staff that she is going for a walk around.... She was wearing normal sleepers with tee-shirt on her body. The day when she went missing the weather was good with sunshine.

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 ANY information .


An American 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.


On 11th 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.


More: The 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.

Millet One Sport Everest Boot  has made some minor changes by adding more Kevlar. USES Expeditions / High altitude / Mountaineering in extremely cold conditions / Isothermal to -75°F Gore-Tex® Top dry / Evazote Reinforcements with aramid threads. Avg. Weight: 5 lbs 13 oz Sizes: 5 - 14 DESCRIPTION Boot with semi-rigid shell and built-in Gore-Tex® gaiter reinforced by aramid threads, and removable inner slipper Automatic crampon attachment Non-compressive fastening Double zip, so easier to put on Microcellular midsole to increase insulation Removable inner slipper in aluminized alveolate Fiberglass and carbon footbed Cordura + Evazote upper Elasticated collar.

Expedition footwear for mountaineering in conditions of extreme cold.  NOTE US SIZES LISTED. See more here.



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