American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Asia, Nepal, Attempt on Himlung Himal and Ascent of North Peak of Manaslu

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 1965

Attempt on Himlung Himal and Ascent of North Peak of Manaslu. Our party was led by Jan Boon and consisted of Fons Driessen, Charles Dufour and me, Netherlanders, and Hubert Schriebl, Austrian. We left Kathmandu with 90 porters on September 6, traveled north along the Trisuli Gandaki to Syabrubensi, then in a westerly direction (south of the Ganesh Himal) to the great valley of the Buri Gandaki, north and then northwest along this to Sama, across the Larkya Pass (17,100 feet) to Bimtakhoti, where we arrived on September 30. The route from Syabrubensi to the Buri Gandaki was more or less unknown. Small, steep, slippery paths, leechs and heavy monsoon rains made that part of the route rather difficult. Dufour fell ill. He was picked up by helicopter and taken to the hospital in Kathmandu. He rejoined the expedition by helicopter and walked in to the first Base Camp. This we placed above Bimak- hoti at 14,600 feet at the foot of the unclimbed Himlung Himal (23,380 feet), a mountain on the Nepalese-Tibetan border. From this camp we reconnoitered the Himlung Himal for ten days. First we tried the west ridge, but avalanches constantly crossed the difficult route to the ridge and it was too dangerous. For the same reason we gave up a route we found to the east side of the mountain. We finally discovered a long route on a very long ridge coming from the south to the peak, but though not dangerous, it was really difficult and too long for our small expedition. We returned to Bimakhoti and recrossed the Larkya Pass to Sama. We next headed for the unclimbed north peak of Manaslu (23,130 feet). On October 17 our second Base Camp was ready above Sama at the foot of the north peak at 13,800 feet. In seven davs we placed four camps on the mountain: Camp I at 17,000 feet. Camp II on the Naike Col at 18,500 feet, Camp III in the icefall at 20,000 feet and Camp IV just above the icefall at 21,325 feet. At three difficult spots we used fixed ropes. One was a 100-foot icewall at 20,650 feet, perpendicular and overhanging, which was first climbed by Schriebl. On October 25 Driessen, Schriebl and I with the Sherpas Nima Tenzing and Ila Tsering climbed the steep summit ridge to the top. We left the mountains, going southwest to Thonje, northwest to Manangbhot and over the Thorungtse Pass to Muktinath. Boon descended the Kali Gandaki to Jomoson, climbed a high pass (18,000 feet) in a northwesterly direction to Chharkabhot and returned to Jomoson. The others went north to Kehami in the Kali Gandaki valley and south to Jomoson. We then continued on to Pokhara.

Jan G. De Lint, Koninklijke Nederlandse Alpen-Verenging

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