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Asia, China, Anyemaqen, East Face

Anyemaqen, East Face. During September and October Geof Bartram, Tim Macartney-Snape, Andrew Henderson, Charles Massy and I visited the Anyemaqen range in Qinghai province. The weather was very bad and we were able to complete only one climb, the east face of Anyemaqen, a new route. Bartram, Macartney-Snape, Henderson and I crossed the glacier to the east face, ascended a couple of pitches of rotten rock, traversed onto snow and climbed the face with one bivouac to the east summit (6152 meters, 20,183 feet). We dug a snow cave in the saddle between the east and main summits. The next day, September 25, Macartney-Snape and I continued up to the main summit (6282 meters, 20,610 feet) while Bartram and Henderson started down. Very strong winds and deep snow made the east ridge too dangerous to descend; instead we traversed the northeast ridge, catching up with the other two late in the afternoon. The northeast ridge was six kilometers long. We made the first ascent of three subpeaks, the highest being 5900 meters (19,357 feet). The Chinese Mountaineering Association was very helpful though their costs are extremely high. Already there are rubbished campsites, a deplorable state of affairs. We collected rubbish and dumped it in crevasses. In particular, we should like to register a complaint about a Japanese expedition which had been there earlier in 1981. Apart from leaving a mess of tinfoil, cans and bottles, they also spray-painted in red several rocks, advertising that they had been there. They also made ditches around their tents, which has prevented the vegetation from recovering. We would favour having China fine heavily groups who abuse the environment and refuse clearances to groups who do damage.

Lincoln Hall, Australia