American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Asia, India, Garhwal, Meru North, Second Ascent and Meru West, First Ascent

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 1982

Meru North, Second Ascent and Meru West, First Ascent. Our expedition was made up of Dr. Peter Haslinger, Dr. Peter Lengauer, Rudolf Wurzer, Karl Pfeifer, Julius Müller, Fritz Roth, Karl Reindl, Reinhard Streif, Konrad Scharnreiter, Peter Schiml, Albrecht Thausing and me as leader. On August 23 we established Base Camp at Tapovan at 13,950 feet. We reconnoitered the approaches up the Meru Glacier and on the 25th placed Camp I at 15,600 feet below the northeast face of Meru. We had to climb the 2500-foot-high rock face to reach the col on the north ridge, following the route of the Japanese in 1980 and often using their fixed ropes. The climbing was not difficult but there was much rockfall and the rock was water-soaked. On August 30 we placed Camp II in the col at 18,875 feet. On September 1 Haslinger and I followed the true north ridge to the north summit. (The map of the Swiss Foundation for Alpine Research gives this summit the highest altitude of the group at 6672 meters, but it is clearly lower than the south summit and is about 6400 meters or 20,998 feet). Since the route on the northwest face is obviously easier, we assume that the Japanese reached the north summit by that, route. In any case, Wurzer, Thausing, Streif, Lengauer and Pfeifer followed that route to the north summit on September 4. On September 7 Streif, Reindl, Scharnreiter, Roth, Müller and Schiml made the first ascent of Meru West, which lies on the ridge that connects Bhrigupanth and Meru North and is given by the Swiss at 6361 meters (20,869 feet).

Sepp Friedhuber, Naturfreunde, Austria

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