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Asia, Nepal, Jannu

Jannu. A strong French party, led by Jean Franco and composed of Lionel Terray, Jean Bouvier, Pierre Leroux, Maurice Lenoir, Robert Para-got, Guido Magnone, René Desmaison, P. Dreux, J.-M. Freulon and Dr. J. Lartizien, failed to climb Jannu (25,294 feet), which straddles the border of Sikkim and Nepal. They ascended the Tamar valley to the Yamatari Glacier, intending to try the route up the "Pear" ridge reconnoitered by the 1957 French expedition. After this whole route was swept by a huge avalanche in mid-April just after their arrival, they abandoned it in favor of a much longer one along a ridge south of Jannu. From Base Camp, which they had established on April 4 at 14,600 feet, they set up Camp I at 15,750 feet and continued up an easy glacier to Camp II at 17,700 feet. A rock gully, snow ridge, glacier and a mixed rock and snow slope, where 650 feet of rope were fixed, led to Camp III (19,000 feet). The route became extremely difficult above there, and over a mile of rope was fixed. Some ice couloirs were of more than 60°. Camp IV (21,000 feet) lay below the "Buffer Head" (Tête du Butoir) and the "Lacework Ridge" (l’Arête de la Dentelle), an extraordinarily difficult ice ridge. They established Camp V (22,650 feet) on the plateau of the Throne on May 9. The next day Terray, Bouvier, Desmaison and Leroux climbed a 1000-foot ice slope and nearly vertical rocks above it to reach the south ridge at 24,000 feet, but the extremely difficult ascent took them all day. On May 11 Franco, Magnone, Paragot, Lenoir and the Sherpa Wongdi climbed this same slope. The latter two returned below but the first three established Camp VI there. That night Franco discovered that he was snowblind, a condition that persisted even during their descent two days latter. Magnone and Paragot climbed upwards all day from Camp VI but ascended only about 250 feet. No further attempts were made, the climb being judged too risky. The weather had been generally unfavorable throughout.