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Asia, Nepal, Lamjung Himal, North Ridge

Lamjung Himal, North Ridge. Our expedition was composed of Kozo Kashiwagi, Kenjiro Oka, Kikuo Kazusa, Yoshinori Ueno, Hisashi Sugihara, Satoshi Nishimura, Nakao Ito, Yuji Matsuda, Dr. Yasuhiko Iwasaki and me as leader. We set out from Dumle on March 20 with 106 portersand reached Base Camp above Bharton at 12,450 feet on April 5. Camp I was established on April 9 at 15,250 feet below a branch of the north ridge. We followed this spur onto the 17,400-foot peak on the north ridge, fixing nine pitches. Camp II was established on April 14 at 17,225 feet. From Camp II there was first a sharp ice ridge, then easy rock and finally a gentle snow ridge to the snow plateau. We fixed 12 pitches. On April 17 Ueno was hit by an avalanche, swept off the ridge near the plateau and though he was held, he broke his leg. He climbed back into the ridge where he and three companions spent the night in a snow cave. By the 21st he had been brought down to Base Camp. Camp III was placed at 19,000 feet on the plateau on April 26. The section to Camp IV was the most difficult part. At first we climbed a snow wall to avoid a hanging glacier. Then we ascended the narrow, corniced north ridge. On this part we fixed 22 pitches. On May 10 we broke through the big cornice and stood on the great snowfield, where Camp IV was established on May 12 at 21,325 feet. On May 13 Kazusa, Nishimura and Norbu Jambu Sherpa completed this new route up the flat, broad snow slope to the summit (6983 meters, 22,911 feet).

Hitoshi Hagiwara, Hosei University Alpine Club, Japan