The approach to basecamp is about 50 km long and leads across the  Biafo Glacier – part of the world´s longest glacial system outside polar regions.

The porters take a last break shortly before arriving in base camp. It is the first time that we get a glimpse of the incredible  Baintha-Brakk (Ogre) massif.

We are not alone in basecamp: an Italian team led byHans Kammerlander and an American team led by Hans Johnsonwill also attempt the Ogre.

We think that a  »competition«  on a mountain this difficult istoo dangerous. We shift our attention to the unclimbed Ogre III

THE ASCENT  OF OGRE IIIThe unclimbed Ogre III,6.950 meters

THE ASCENT OF OGRE IIILeft:The first 200 meters of the South Pillar are steep and intimidating.A system of corners leads the way. Right: The last meters to the pillar.

THE ASCENT OF OGRE IIIThomas climbs at ca. 6.200 meters on the thirdpitch of the dihedral. The granite is perfect.

THE ASCENT OF OGRE IIIIwan on a difficult, overhanging mixed pitchon the upper part of the pillar at ca. 6700 meters.

THE ASCENT OF OGRE IIIThomas on the summit of Ogre III

The view from the summit of Ogre III to the Ogre. Boththe Americans and the Italians with Hans Kammerlanderfailed on the Ogre during that time .

After our success on Ogre III we are well preparedfor our actual goal: The second ascent of the Ogre.

THE ASCENT OF THE OGREWe plan to ascend the Ogre, 7.285 meters,along a line up the South Pillar.

THE ASCENT OF THE OGREThomas redpoints the difficult section of the pillar.

THE ASCENT OF THE OGREWe fix ropes on the lower part of the pillar andestablish our portaledge camp at 6100 meters.

THE ASCENT OF THE OGREOur portaledge camp at 6100 meters. For three people, this double ledge is a bit tight...

THE ASCENT OF THE OGREAt the end of the South Pillar, we put up Camp 2 at6500 meters. Just below the summit slope of the Ogre. 

THE ASCENT OF THE OGREThe view from camp II. The incredible and rough scenery of the Karakoram mountains.

THE ASCENT OF THE OGRESummit day: we make good progress from the icefield up to the summit tower.

THE ASCENT OF THE OGREThe last 200 meters are tough. Hard free climbing,aid climbing and pendulums in thin air. Thomas fightsfor every meter. Iwan and Urs provide perfect support. 

THE ASCENT OF THE OGREOnly a few steps remain until we reach our goal:The second ascent of the Ogre. 

THE ASCENT OF THE OGREOur dream comes true:on the summit of the Ogre.

THE ASCENT OF THE OGREA happy Iwan Wolf on the summit of the Ogre.

THE ASCENT OF THE OGREUrs Stöcker on the summit of the Ogre, but the expeditionis not a success yet. A long and dangerous descent awaits.

THE ASCENT OF THE OGREBack in base camp we can look back at an incredible adventure. The second ascent of the Ogre: Urs Stöcker, Thomas and Iwan Wolf.



Karakoram / Pakistan




Words: Thomas Huber


The Ogre in the Karakoram, the ugly giant that eats people, is the stuff of legends: mysterious, intimidating, dangerous. When the locals hear about the Ogre, they go silent. He is evil and brings bad fortune. No one wants to deal with him, they stay out of its way, and have an almost childish fear. The Ogre - the fairy tale giant from myths everywhere.


In the words of Reinhold Messner: »The Ogre, what a challenge! For a long time this Karakoram giant was considered unclimbable. All attempts were fruitless. That is until Chris Bonington and Doug Scott tried their luck. They reach the summit, both being among the most experienced mountaineers of their time: Good at high altitude, strong minded, skilled in both rock and ice, and tough as nails. That made the difference. The descent almost turned into a tragedy. Their way back down to base camp, Chris with broken ribs and Doug with broken legs, over the course of several days, became one of the most famous legendary episodes in the history of alpinism.
Thomas Huber made them immortal 24 years and several unsuccessful expeditions later, with a clever approach, incredible climbing skills, and the often-quoted talent to go for it, which always stems from healthy self confidence. He led a strong party up the monstrously beautiful Ogre.«

At first, though, things didn’t line up so well. In 1999, I failed with Toni Gutsch, Jan Mersch, and Alexander with our attempt at climbing the south pillar. As it happens so often, we didn’t have the necessary luck with the weather, and ended up on the long list of unsuccessful Ogre expeditions.

Two years later, I was back in base camp, back on the mountain of my dreams, or rather, my mountaineering obsession.  We were not alone, Urs Stöcker, Ivan Wolf and I shared base camp with two other expeditions. An American team led by Hans Johnsten and a South Tyrolean team led by Hans Kammerlander. All had come with the same goal of doing the second ascent of the Ogre.

It was quite a difficult situation! We decided against this race and focussed on the hitherto unclimbed Ogre III (ca. 6.900m). We made good use of the short weather windows and found a way through the heavily crevassed glacier to the base of the mountain. Hans Kammerlander had aborted his attempts in the meantime, and was headed to K2. It was only us and the Americans remaining in base camp. Soon, the weather was supposed to stay good for fours days. We headed up, but the Americans used the window for their attempt at the Ogre as well.

We followed steep couloirs, overhanging dihedrals, featured knife edge ridges and after two bivies, we stood on the summit of Ogre III. It was a perfect day, no wind, bluebird skies, and the view was fantastic. The day we summited the Americans were forced to turn around in bottomless snow at 6.500 meters. They joined us and 28 other teams in the »Club of the 30«. Shortly afterwards we were by ourselves in base camp, and everyone was eager to give it a shot.

The wish, to really want it bad, the passion, the wish to suffer for real to experience the truly special moment… all this got us to the summit of the Ogre two weeks later, 24 years after Chris Bonington and Doug Scott were here. What a moment, what an expedition!




Source: Wikipedia


The Karakoram is a large mountain range spanning the borders between Pakistan, India and China, located in the regions of Gilgit–Baltistan (Pakistan), Ladakh (India), and Xinjiang region, (China). It is one of the Greater Ranges of Asia and is considered to be a subrange of the Himalayas.


The Karakoram is home to the highest concentration of peaks over 8.000m in height to be found anywhere on earth, including K2, the second highest peak in the world 8.611 m (28,251 ft).

The range is about 500 km (311 mi) in length, and is the most heavily glaciated part of the world outside the polar regions. The Siachen Glacier at 70 kilometres (43 mi) and the Biafo Glacier at 63 kilometres (39 mi) rank as the world's second and third longest glaciers outside the polar regions. Some of the debris-covered Karakoram glaciers are found to be expanding but other ones are retreating.

The Karakoram is bounded on the northeast by the edge of the Tibetan Plateau, and on the north by the Pamir Mountains. The southern boundary of the Karakoram is formed, west to east, by the Gilgit, Indus, and Shyok Rivers, which separate the range from the northwestern end of the Himalaya range proper as these rivers converge southwestward towards the plains of Pakistan.


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THE Ogre


Source: Wikipedia


Baintha Brakk or The Ogre is a steep, craggy mountain, 7.285 metres (23.901 ft) high, in the Panmah Muztagh, a subrange of the Karakoram mountain range. It is located in Gilgit-Baltistan, Pakistan. It is famous for being one of the hardest peaks in the world to climb: twenty-four years elapsed between the first ascent in 1977 and the second in 2001.

The Ogre rises above the north side of the Biafo Glacier, one of the major glaciers of the central Karakoram. It lies about 75 kilometres (47 mi) north of Skardu, the major town of the region, and about 30 kilometres (19 mi) north of the roadhead at Askole.

Following two unsuccessful attempts in 1971 and 1976, the peak was first climbed by two Britons, Doug Scott and Chris Bonington, in 1977. They climbed via the Southwest Spur to the West Ridge, and over the West Summit to the Main Summit. The ascent of the summit block required difficult rock climbing that extended the boundaries of what had been done at over 7.000 metres (23.000 ft).

The descent proved more dangerous still: On the first rappel from the summit, Scott broke both legs. Later, Bonington broke two ribs and contracted pneumonia. Also, much of the week-long descent to base camp was in a major storm. However, they were all able to reach base camp, where they had a long wait for assistance.

The second ascent of The Ogre was made by Urs Stöcker, Iwan Wolf, and Thomas Huber, on 21 July 2001, via the South Pillar route, following their first ascent of the subsidiary peak Ogre III. They note that there were more than 20 unsuccessful expeditions in the interim. Mountain INFO magazine characterized their ascent as »arguably the most notable mountaineering achievement during the entire 2001 season.«



South Pillar, Ogre, 7.285 m

Panmah Muztagh, Karakoram, Pakistan



Via the south pillar up to  6.500 meters:
26 pitches, 5.11d

To the summit on the Bonington-Scott-Route: 5.9/A1



1977, Chris Bonington and Doug Scott



2001, Thomas Huber, Iwan Wolf and Urs Stoecker


Same for Ogre III and Ogre
2 sets of cams to #3
5 ice screws
ice axes


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