Manchester Himalayan 1957
The party set out from Skardu in mid-June, travelling to the Masherbrum Glacier, where they would site their basecamp, via the Hushe Valley. From here they established a series of camps, with the highest, camp VI, sited at 24,000 feet on the south-east face of Masherbrum. Whillans and Smith made an attempt on the summit from this camp but were forced to bivouac after encountering poor snow conditions in the couloir between the north and south summits. They had hoped to make a further attempt the next morning, but bad weather forced them to retreat to camp VI. They were pinned in camp VI by poor weather for several days, before Downes and Walmsley arrived as the second assault team. During the evening of July 18, Downes developed a cough and died the following morning. After bringing down the body, Whillans and Walmsley made a final attempt on the mountain, siting camp VII at the bivouac spot of the previous attempt for a final push to the summit. Unfortunately, they encountered poor snow on the final stretch and were forced onto a rock buttress where the going was very slow. With Walmsley suffering from frostbite and Whillans having lost his gloves, the pair made the decision to abandon the attempt rather than a face a bivouac.