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Asia, Nepal, Manaslu

Manaslu. A Yugoslavian expedition led by the late Aleš Kunaver had hoped to ascend the unclimbed south ridge of Manaslu, but instead they made the fourth ascent of the south face, first climbed by the Tiroleans in 1972. They established Base Camp on the Thulagi Glacier at 4250 meters on April 18. They had no fixed camps but placed bivouacs at 5300, 5900, 6900, 7400 and 7800 meters. Relatively high temperatures caused unusual avalanche danger. An avalanche swept away a dump of gear at 5800 meters, preventing the attempt of the new route. After they had returned to the 5900-meter bivouac, Edo Retelj returned to Base Camp for more equipment, but did not return because of renewed avalanche danger. On May 1 Viktor Groselj and Stipe Božic attempted to reach Bivouac IV but Božic broke his ice axe. Kunaver climbed through the night to bring him his, thereby sacrificing his chance for the summit. On May 2 and 3 Božic and Groselj bivouacked at 7400 and 7800 meters and reached the summit (8163 meters, 26,780 feet) at 9:45 A.M. on May 4. (This information was graciously given by Kunaver’s widow, Dušica, and Tone Škarja.)