American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Asia, Nepal, Jannu, North Face Attempt

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 1983

Jannu, North Face Attempt. Unfortunately we did not succeed on the north face of Jannu (Kumbhakarna) in spite of eight weeks on the mountain. We stopped at 23,300 feet, still three days from the summit as we calculate it. It was the most moving experience I have ever had in the Himalaya because of the harshness of the wall. None of us had ever seen such a cold, steep face. In October there was no sun at all except for three to four hours a day at Camp I. The last 3000 feet were like the Cima Ovest’s north face in the Dolomites with much overhanging in the last 1500 feet. When we discovered how smooth this part of the face was, we headed for the northeast ridge, which we would have reached at 24,000 feet. We were unlucky. First, Patrick Benhault left us at the beginning, judging the face too harsh. Our two Sherpas couldn’t carry beyond 21,000 feet and we five remaining climbers had to carry everything. This year the weather in October was very bad. A meter of snow fell on Camp I on October 20. All camps were destroyed. I tried to solo to the ridge on October 26. Because there were no more camps on the mountain at that time, the liaison officer forbade the expedition to continue and I had to come down.

Pierre Beghin, Groupe de Haute Montagne

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