Asia, Nepal, Tilicho, Second Ascent

Publication Year: 1980.

Tilicho, Second Ascent. In the autumn of 1965 three of us explored an unnamed 23,405-foot peak in the Annapurna Himal, which was later called Tilicho or more accurately Tilitso Himal (tilli=remote; tso=lake in the Thakali language) after Tilitso (lake) which lies at its northern foot. It was placed under the climbing ban. We had made repeated applications to climb it every year, but when the ban was lifted in 1978, a French expedition was allowed to climb it in the autumn (A.A.J., 1979, p. 273) and our permission was for the following spring. Our expedition consisted of Ikuo Saeki, climbing leader, Akira Ohta, Hitoshi Tsuji, Takashi Araki, Haruo Yamamoto, Yutaka Oe, Dr. Fumitaka Koyama and me as leader. On March 22 we left Pokhara with 65 porters and, via the Marsyandi River, arrived at Khangsar on April 1. Base Camp was established on April 3 at 13,775 feet, for the snow was too deep for the porters, rather than at 16,075 feet on the western shore of Tilitso. On April 7 we placed Advance Base Camp at 16,575 feet on the ridge south of East Tilitso Pass. On April 11 Temporary Camp I was placed where we had hoped to have Base Camp on the lake. Transport between Advance Base and Temporary Camp I was done by ski sled over the frozen lake. On April 14 Camp I was placed at 16,900 feet at the foot of the rocky north ridge of Tilitso Himal. Early the next morning a great avalanche fell from the Grande Barrière onto the lake, breaking the ice. We were then forced to take the long way around the lake, but our transport was almost finished. That day we moved to Camp I. On April 16 we set to work making the route on the north ridge of rotten rock, fixing some 6000 feet of rope up to Camp II, which was established on April 24 at 19,700 feet. The weather was fine on April 25. The first summit team of Araki, Yamamoto and Sherpa Mingma Tenzing left Camp II at 5:30 A.M. They climbed an ice slope of 350 feet straight up, went along the snow ridge for 1000 feet to the cornice, where they turned left along the ridge. Just below the summit Yamamoto’s condition forced them to bivouac in a snow cave which they dug at five P.M. On the 26th the three started at six A.M. and stood on the summit at 7:45. After an hour’s stay they descended to Camp I, arriving at 6:30 P.M. Also on April 26 Oe and Sherpa Nawang Yonde started from Camp II at four A.M., reached the top at two P.M. and were back at Camp II at six P.M. On April 28 all were back at Base Camp and reached Khanksar on April 29. Crossing the Thorong Pass to Muktinath and walking along the Kali Gandaki, we got back to Pokhara on May 9.

Yoshimi Yakushi, Tomari Mountaineering Club, Japan