Meru and Chaturangi, 1980. On the maps Meru has two peaks, the more northerly being noted at 6672 meters (21,890 feet) and the southern summit at 6660 meters (21,851 feet). Osamu Shimada and Tamotsu Iwashima of the Japanese Hida Alpine Club climbed the northern summit from the north on October 4, 1980 and found it to be only 6400 meters (20,998 feet). Our expedition had permission for Meru South, which turned out to be the highest in the group. Our party consisted of Kenshiro Ohtaki, leader, Kimimasa Miwa, Mutsuo Ominato, Fumihide Saito, Yoshiharu Ohta and me. On August 20, 1980 we left Uttarkashi with 56 porters and reached Base Camp at Tapovan at 14,100 feet on the 23rd. Advance Base was placed on the Kirti Bamak at 15,425 feet on August 25. Camp I was established on August 31 at 16,075 feet on the Kirti Bamak. There were two gullies leading to the southeast ridge. We climbed the right gully, traversed a rock band, and climbed the next gully, where we fixed 1000 feet of rope, to reach the shoulder, where we placed Camp II at 17,725 feet. A steep snow ridge followed, where we set up Camp III on September 12 at 19,500 feet. This camp was moved on the 24th to the junction of the ridges at 20,350 feet. We bypassed a peak of 6390 meters (20,965 feet) on the northwest and continued along a 350-foot knife- edge and on October 7 set up Camp IV at 20,900 feet. Above this camp we climbed a 200-foot iced rock wall with direct aid. Then we climbed the last rock wall, some 300 feet in height, to the final snow ridge which led to the top. On October 10, 1980 Takahashi and Ominato left at seven A.M. and reached the summit at four P.M. The next day Miwa and Saito got to the top at 2:55 and on the following day Ohtaki, Ohta and I finished our ascent at 1:35. After a rest at Base Camp we headed for Chaturangi on October 18. We crossed the Gangotri Glacier, went through Nandanban, passed around the north of Bhagirathi II and camped at 15,425 feet on the 18th. On October 20 we set up Camp II below the south ridge of Chaturangi at 16,075 feet. The rock of the ridge was very rotten, but we placed Camp III on it at 19,000 feet on October 22. Above Camp III we climbed along the rotten-rock ridge for an hour until it turned into a snow knife-edge. We passed a gendarme on the east. On October 27 Miwa, Ominato and Ohta left at seven A.M. and got to the summit of Chaturangi (6407 meters, 21,021 feet) at three P.M. On October 29, Ohtaki, Saito and I also reached our goal at 1:35.
Junichi Endo, Toyo University Alpine Club, Japan