American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Asia, Nepal, Kangtega from the North

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 1980

Kangtega from the North. A second Sangaku Doshisha expedition, composed of Kazuo Yuda, leader, Makoto Ishibashi, Yoshiyasu Hondo, Koichi Takeuchi and Dr. Hiroshi Maruyama, climbed a new north-face route on Kangtega from the Hinku Nup Glacier. After setting up Base Camp at 16,000 feet on April 5, they soon moved it to 17,400 feet. Camp I was established on the glacier at 18,375 feet on April 12. Yuda and Takeuchi started up the steep ice-and-rock face which led directly to the col between Kangtega I and II but gave it up after only three pitches because of avalanche danger. They moved north to a very steep 2300-foot couloir (60°+) which led to the col between Kangtega II and III. It took three days to climb and fix ropes in the couloir. On April 21 Yuda, Hondo, Ishibashi and Tekeuchi set out from a bivouac at 21,000 feet for the summit, slabbing west of the peak of Kangtega II. The latter two moved ahead and reached the summit (22,340 feet) at 2:10 P.M. and descended to bivouac at 21,325 feet. They did not yet know that the first two had fallen 125 feet into a crevasse at 21,000 feet. Yuka broke an ankle and the middle finger of his right hand. Hondo fell on him and was not injured and so climbed out and returned to the bivouac site. The next morning the three returned to the crevasse but could not extricate Yuda. Ishibashi descended into the crevasse to supply Yuda with food and fuel and to stay with him. Takeuchi with a frostbitten leg and Hondo shocked by his fall returned to Base Camp. On the morning of the 23rd Ishibashi wondered if help could be brought and climbed out of the crevasse. Yuda jümared out, taking three-and-a-half hours since he could use only his left hand. When he emerged, he had been in the crevasse for 52 hours. On the evening of April 26 Dr. Maruyama and Sherpas reached them. They finished the evacuation to Base Camp on April 28. A full account, photographs and diagrams are found in Iwa To Yuki N° 70.

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