Asia, Nepal, Peak 29 or Dunapurna

Publication Year: 1980.

Peak 29 or Dunapurna. The Klub Wysokogórski (High Mountain Club) of Zakopane organized an expedition of six to Peak 29 led by Ryz- sard Szafirski with Leszek Korniszewski as doctor. They discovered that local people living in the valleys west of the peak call it Dunapurna.* Transport problems delayed their arrival at Base Camp at 13,125 feet until April 4. They were attempting a new route up the west buttress. On April 9 Advanced Base Camp was erected on the Thulagi Glacier at 14,750 feet. Maciej Berbeka, Ryszard Gajewski, Piotr Malinowski and Maciej Pawlikowski tackled the first main obstacle, a 2300-foot-high head- wall (UIAA Grade V, A2), where from April 10 to 13 they fixed 2000 feet of rope. On April 14 they placed Camp I at 18,375 feet. The route continued up difficult ice on the left of the crest of the buttress. Camp II was established at 20,675 feet on April 19 and Camp III at 23,300 feet on April 27. Above this camp towered a 350-foot face which Berbeka and Pawlikowski attempted under bad conditions on May 1. They had to turn back in deteriorating weather after fixing some rope. When it improved on May 5, Gajewski and Pawlikowski set off from Base Camp, followed on the 6th by Malinowski and Szafirski; Berbeka felt ill. On May 8 the first pair forced their way up the final part of the 350-foot face and traversed the ridge across icefields to the bottom of the highest rock pinnacle on the ridge. At 3:30 they reached the summit (25,705 feet). The last pitch of the climb involved mixed climbing of UIAA Grade V. They were late back in Camp III. As the tiny tent could not hold more than two, Malinowski and Szafirski gave up their places to the tired sum- miters and descended to Camp II, thus sacrificing their chances for a summit bid. In all, 4500 feet of rope were fixed. They feel in view of the topography of the mountain that the Japanese who fell to their deaths in 1970 could not have reached the summit.

Marek Brniak, Klub Wysokogôrski, Krakow

* Nima Norbu Sherpa of Namche explains the Sanskrit. Duna stands for a plate made from the leaves of the salla tree. Puma means goddess. Therefore, Dunapurna means “Leaf plate of the goddess.”