American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Asia, Nepal, Api, South Face and East Ridge

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 1979

Api, South Face and East Ridge. The Italian expedition to Api was composed of Alberto Bianchi, Rolando Canuti, Claudio Cavenago, Cesare Cesa Bianchi, Luigi Leccardi, Maurizio Maggi, Ivano Meschini, Marco Polo, Angelo Rocca, Giampiero Rodari, Vittorio Tamagni, Marco Tede- schi, Franco Villa, and me as leader. This was the first Italian expedition to Api since the one led by P. Ghiglione in 1954 when three out of four members died. After this first attempt, two Japanese teams tried to reach the top from the south face. This is one of the less known areas of Nepal and it is very difficult to approach. The living conditions of the people are extremely poor. For an expedition it is very difficult both to collect porters and to supply food. After a ten-day approach route along the Chamlia valley, we reached Base Camp (13,000 feet) on September 29. We set then three higher camps: I at 16,350 feet; II at 18,450 feet; III at 20,675 feet at the Api-Nampa I col. Between Camps II and III there were UIAA difficulties of IV to V and 55° to 65° ice. We fixed rope along the whole section. From Camp III the route followed the east ridge, first sharp and corniced, then with great rock pillars. Only for the first 1300 feet of this part did we fix rope. The top (23,399 feet) was reached on October 16 by a four-member team: Cesare Cesa Bianchi, Maurizio Maggi, Angelo Rocca and Vittorio Tamagni. The summit climb was made in frightful weather: heavy snowfall and fog nearly stopped the climbers on the way back. One of them actually slipped and fell 200 feet, but was immediately rescued by the others. The team reached Camp III only very late at night. On October 20 we left Base Camp.

Renato Moro, Club Alpino ltaliano

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