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Asia, Nepal, Gyachung Kang

Gyachung Kang. The Federation of All Japan Mountaineering Unions expedition was composed of Ichiro Yoshizawa, deputy leader; Yukihiko Kato, Takeshi Takeda, Kazunobu Machida, Kiyoto Sakaizawa, Tadao Kitamura, Kazunari Yasuhisa, Toshiro Kikuchi, Chuji Kobayashi, Akio Otaki and myself as leader and doctor. The Nepalese liaison officer was Jai Chand Thakur. Pasang Phutar III directed 12 Sherpas and eight local porters. We left Kathmandu on February 11 and after reaching Namche Bazar on March 4, we established Base Camp on March 11 at 17,325 feet on the moraine of the Ngojumba Glacier. Camp I (March 17; 18,800 feet), Camp II (March 20; 19,550 feet) and Camp III (March 23; 21,000 feet) were also on the Ngojumba Glacier. We settled Camp IV on March 27 under the ice couloir at 21,800 feet and Camp V on April 5 in the couloir at 23,150 feet. Camp VI was pitched at 24,775 feet on April 6. On the 9th, Takeda and Otaki started from there at 8:30. Three hours later they arrived at the final ridge at about 25,250 feet and rested. At that time Akio Otaki slipped, falling to his death to the Gyachung Kang Glacier (the Tibetan side) some 6500 feet lower. We located that area, but due to the very steep rock wall and the fact that we could not cross the border between Nepal and Tibet, we gave up the rescue. That same day Camp VI was established at 25,150 feet on the border ridge between Nepal and Tibet. On the 10th, Kato, Sakaizawa and Pasang Phutar III left Camp VI at seven a.m., and after great difficulties, especially a very steep rock knife-edged ridge, they stood on the summit (25,990 feet) at eleven o’clock. After an hour’s stay they returned to the final camp at three. On the 11th, Machida and Yasuhisa stood on the summit at 11:30. The weather was very fine, and so from the summit, Everest came into their sight and they could see also many other fine mountains.

Kazuyoshi Kohara, Federation of All Japan Mountaineering Unions