American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Asia, Bhutan, Kankar Pünzum Attempt

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 1986

Kankar Pünzum Attempt. Although the Bhutanese government had granted a permit for the southeast or east ridge of Kankar Pünzum, it insisted that we approach the peak by going up the Chamkar Chu, a river system draining a cirque 10 to 15 kilometers east of the main peak. Gerry Roach and I departed from Jakar on September 12, arrived at Tsampey on September 15 and spent five days, from September 17 to 21, reconnoitering the Chamkar Chu Glacier. The main party, Yvon Chouinard, Dan Emmett, Frank Morgan, Rick Ridgeway, John Roskelley and Doug Tompkins, arrived at Tsampey on September 23 and continued to explore the area. We satisfied ourselves that there was no pass leading from our location to the Mengde Chu, from which we could have approached Kankar Pünzum. From September 30 to October 5 we climbed a number of small peaks of 18,000 to 19,500 feet east of the Chamkar Chu Glacier. The government denied our repeated requests to change the valley or for permission to climb Melunghi Kang or other peaks accessible to us and so we returned to Thimpu.

Phillip R. Trimble

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