Asia, Nepal, Annapurna IV, Northwest Route, 1975

Publication Year: 1980.

Annapurna IV, Northwest Route, 1978. We were Chun Byung-koo, leader, Yoo Dong-ok, Byun Myu-keun, Lee Myung-ho, Chun Doo-sung and I, deputy leader. We left Begnas village on March 14, 1978 with 73 porters. During a heavy snowstorm at Chame village at 9000 feet, all the porters ran away. We managed to employ 22 high-mountain tribe people and relayed loads to Base Camp at 13,125 feet by April 5. The snow was still six feet deep. We set up Camp I on April 9 at 16,550 feet. Camp II was placed at 18,500 feet on April 14, Camp III at 20,350 feet on April 17 and Camp IV at 21,650 feet on April 19. Due to a gale we cancelled our plan to set Camp V at 23,000 feet. On April 22 Yoo Dong-ok, Sardar Pasang Norbu and Sherpa Pemba Lama left Camp IV, bivouacked at 22,300 feet, left the bivouac at 5:30 A.M. and reached the summit of Annapurna IV (24,688 feet) at 3:50 P.M. of April 23, 1978, while a violent snowstorm raged. They spent another night at their bivouac because of the snowstorm and darkness. The following day, in a snow slide, they fell 500 feet between Camps IV and III, losing packs, cameras and ice axes. Narrowly having escaped death, they finally managed to return to Base Camp the same day. Yoo Dong-ok suffered severe frostbite and lost all five right toes and his big left toe.

Hahm Tak-young, Korean Alpine Club