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April 15, 2009
"Himalayan Climb of Gasherbrum II"
by Michael Collins
In 1987 five
mountaineers from Lander Wyoming, all mountaineering guides from the
National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS), set out to climb Gasherbrum
II (26,466') in Pakistan, the last 8,000 meter peak unclimbed by
Americans. We had only a picture of the summit and a broken
conversation with a French climber we met in South America. This
started a great adventure that took us to one of the most remote peaks
in the world. After six weeks of hard work and bad weather we
climbed the peak with no oxygen, no high altitude porters, and in alpine
Public Domain photo from
"Saxon Karakorum Expedition 2001"
by Olaf Rieck.
All of Michael Collins' photos are on 35mm slides.
Bio: I spent my youth learning to climb, hike, and canoe in the
mountains of New England. After a tour in a special operations
unit in the Marine Corps, I moved to Wyoming were I worked for the
National Outdoor Leadership School, and then opened my own guiding
service. I spent the next 20 years climbing and guiding all over
North and South America. In the late 1980's I started climbing in
the Karakorum range in Pakistan culminating in the first American ascent
of Gasherbrum II.