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Asia, Nepal, Annapurna III, Second Ascent

Annapurna III, Second Ascent, Ladies Expedition. Our expedition consisted of the following ladies: Mrs. Junko Tabei, deputy leader, Misses Eiko Hirano, Chieko Urushibara, Hiroko Hirakawa, Reiko Sato, Michiko Manita, Morie Yamazaki, Kyoko Ohno, doctor, and me, leader. We made a new route and the second ascent of Annapurna III (24,787 feet) which we climbed from the south via the Modi Khola. (First ascent by Indians M. S. Kohli and Sonam Gyatso with Sherpa Sonam Girmi, May 6, 1961 from northeast from Marsyandi valley. A.A.J., 1962, 13:1, pp. 268-9). On March 23 our caravan started from Pokhara. After eight days’ march we reached Khildhung (12,000 feet). Due to snow the route to Base Camp was too difficult for the 144 porters and all returned from Khildhung. Therefore we were based there for 16 days, carrying the baggage ourselves to Base Camp. During this time we set up Camps I at 14,275 feet on April 8 and II at 15,750 feet on April 11. On April 16 the members who were reconnoitering the route to Camp III descended to Base Camp, where we gathered for a Base Camp ceremony. The next day all the members and all the Sherpas went to the upper camps. We established Camp III at 17,400 feet on April 24, Camp IV at 19,350 feet on April 28 and Camp V at 22,300 feet on May 18. The most difficult climbing was between Camps IV and V, where there was a 2300-foot snow wall. We fixed 3000 feet of rope there. Then, at last, we sent two members, Mrs. Tabei and Miss Hirakawa, and two Sherpas, Tenzing Girmi and Pasang Nima, to the summit on May 19. They left Camp V at eight and ten o’clock and stood on the summit at 2:45. They spent only 30 minutes there, owing to bad weather. The temperature was 3°F and therefore the film in the camera cracked. They returned to Camp V at 5:20. All members were back at Base Camp on May 26.

EIKO MIYAZAKA, Japanese Alpine Club