Trango Towers, Pakistan: Among the World’s Largest Cliffs

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The Trango Towers of Gilgit-Baltistan, Pakistan, are a group of rock towers that consist of some of the largest cliffs in the world. They are often made a part of rock climbing challenges. The site receives many visitors every year, with people coming to the Karakoram mountain range and challenging themselves to climb to the peaks.

The Trango towers are north of Baltoro Glacier. The Great Trango Tower is the tallest among the group, and it stands at a soaring 20,623 feet high. The tower is known to have four distinguishable peaks. The main peak stands at 20,623 feet, the South at 20,510 feet, the East at 20,443 feet, and the West at 20,417 feet. Steep snow valleys and rock faces are among the tower’s features.

To the northwest of the Great Trango Tower lies the Trango Tower. This tower is also known as the ‘Nameless Tower’, is 20,469 feet tall, and has a pointed shape.

To the north of the Trango Tower sits Trango Monk, which is a smaller rock spire. The spire features a ridge which is comparatively not as rocky and it does not have granite walls.

There are other summits on the site but they are not known to be included in the group of Trango Towers. One of them, known as Trango II, stands towards the northwest of the Trango Monk, at 20,463 feet. The highest summit here is to the northwest of Trango II, and it is named Trango Ri. This summit stands at 20,876 feet.

Another summit – the Trango Pulpit, is southeast of the Great Trango. It is 19,850 feet tall. The walls of this summit have been compared to the walls of the Great Tango tower in terms of level of challenge in climbing.

Trango Castle is to the south and it is the penultimate peak of the large peaks, before reaching the Baltoro Glacier. Trango Castle is a total of 18,875 feet tall.

In the Trango Towers group, the Trango Glacier lies on the west side and the Dunge Glacier is on the east side.

Popular with challenge-seeking climbers, the Trango Towers are known for their incredibly difficult climbs. The altitude, height, and steepness are all contributing factors that increase the challenge of climbing the towers.

Galen Rowell, John Roskelley, Kim Schmitz, Jim Morrissey and Dennis Hennek were the first to climb the Great Tango tower. The team climbed the summit in the year 1977. Their route started from the west with Trango Glacier and they finished on the upper South Face.

Joe Brown, Mo Anthoine, Martin Boysen and Malcolm Howells were the first to climb the Trango Tower. They climbed the tower in the year 1976. The Trango Tower is known to have eight different routes to the tower’s summit.

Of the more recent climbs recorded include that of Josh Wharton and Kelly Cordes. They challenged themselves to a 7,400 feet climb on the Azeem Ridge to the Southwest Summit. The pair were recognised for the speed of their climb, as they completed it in five days.