American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Asia, Bhutan, Jichu Drake or Tsherim Kang Tragedy

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 1985

Jichu Drake or Tsherim Kang Tragedy. Our 13-man expedition left Italy on August 21. We were flown in a small plane of the Bhutanese Airline to Paro at 7550 feet, where we were warmly received by representatives of the Ministry of Tourism and passed into the country without formalities. The approach on foot started on August 25 and lasted 4½ days, longer than usual because of a broken bridge. Horses carried our gear. Base Camp was at 13,950 feet below the southeast ridge of our peak. [The ridge appears on the right of the photo on page 223 of A.A.J., 1984.—Editor.] Giorgio Corradini, Tiziano Nannuzzi, Graziano Ferrari and Filippo Sala established Camp I at 17,550 feet on September 2 after climbing a very long and very sharp snow ridge. From Base Camp to 16,075 feet the route was fixed with rope. Bad weather stopped the climbing until September 8. On the 9th Ferrari, Corradini, Sala and Rolando Menardi climbed to 18,700 feet, fixing rope. On the 11th Corradini, Nannuzzi and Sala reached 19,350 feet but snowfall on September 12 and 13 stopped operations. On the 15th, as Corradini and Nannuzzi were breaking camp, they were hurled 2500 feet down the east face when a section of the snow ridge crest broke. All began the search for them, including Bhutanese soldiers and a helicopter, but stormy weather and the inaccessibility of the spot forced us to leave our friends in their icy tomb. We had excellent collaboration from the government. The very high cost—$3000 peak fee and $80 per man per day—was made possible by our official sponsor.

Arturo Bergamaschi, Club Alpino Italiano

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