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Asia, Nepal, Jannu, Southwest Ridge

Jannu, Southwest Ridge. Our expedition, Dr. Laurenc Dívald, Daniel Bakoš, Robert Gálfy (son of the leader of our joint Kanchenjunga expedition), Oto Chudý, Ludovít Chrenka, Jidro Martiš, Ján Špánik, Ivan Vozárik and I as leader, made a new route on Jannu. Two years ago we unsuccessfully attempted the southwest ridge, failing some 500 feet below the summit. On April 19 we all left Base Camp on Dudh Pohari at 14,450 feet for Camp I with 45-pound loads, walking up the Yamatari Glacier to the base of the 6500-foot-high buttress, the foot of our ridge. Hard work began on the 21st in the icefall, the first real difficulty and surely the most difficult section of our route. In two days of doubtful weather, we reached the side basin to the left of the ridge and the site of Camp II at 17,725 feet. On April 24 work began in the 350-foot-high V+ chimney, leading us back to the ridge, where we found fixed ropes from our 1979 expedition. Parties of two climbed from Camp II, fixed ropes and the same day descended to Base Camp to rest. Camp III was placed at 19,350 feet. Mixed climbing led to an icefield at 21,000 feet, where Camp IV was pitched on May 8. Climbing above Camp IV ended in a 100-foot overhang which gained us the top of the buttress at 22,150 feet. We climbed over the top and onto the Throne Glacier, where we had Camp V at 23,300 feet. It was May 16. We agreed to divide forces. Martiš, Chrenka and Špánik would push straight up the left side of the face, as we had tried in 1979. Bakoš and Gálfy would traverse the Throne Glacier to the right to join the original French south-ridge route. They placed a temporary Camp V of their own and Camp VI on the south ridge. After their first attempt failed, Bakoš had to descend to Base Camp, ill and exhausted. On May 23 Dívald, Gálfy and Vozárik reached the summit (7710 meters, 25,294 feet). Meanwhile the other party pushed up the summit face. On May 22 they got to within 325 feet of the top, but, exhausted, they needed a day’s rest at Camp VI. On May 24 came the erroneous forecast from Radio Nepal. We left the ridge, just to see more clear days from far away as we left the mountain. (Translated by Oto Chudý.)

Adam Blažej, lames, Slovak Mountaineering Association, Czechoslovakia