Asia, Nepal, Hiunchuli, Southeast Face
Hiunchuli, Southeast Face. The second ascent of this mountain, south of Annapurna, was accomplished by our expedition on October 8. Since the first ascent by a team of U.S. Peace Corps volunteers led by Craig Anderson in 1971, Hiunchuli had withstood at least six subsequent attempts. We established Base Camp at 13,200 feet on the south side of the prominent avalanche chute below the southeast face. To reach Base Camp we climbed up and left on steep grass and slabs from a point about one mile up the Modi Khola valley from Hinku Cave, near a waterfall. The end of the monsoon pinned us in Base Camp for a week with heavy rain. Higher, new snow avalanches ripped out ropes we had fixed below Camp I and buried a cache, later found after much digging. Above Camp I our route followed the gully climbed by Anderson. (See A.A.J., 1973 page 333). Nine hundred feet of rope were fixed here. Camp II was placed on the upper hanging glacier at 17,500 feet. Above Camp II we decided to climb the prominent ice ridge to the east of the avalanche chute ascended by the original party. This is a safer alternative, giving excellent climbing. Camp III was placed at 18,700 feet near the top of this ridge. We climbed to the summit from Camp III, fixing several more ropes on the way on steep ice steps. On top our altimeter showed 20,200 feet (6157 meters), 900 feet less than shown on the map (6333 meters). Reaching the top were Bob Wilson, Peter Cummings, Bonnie Nobori, LaVerne Woods, Curt Hewitt, Gary Doyle, Tim Byrnes, Tony Townsend, and me as leader.