Gurja Himal Ascent and Tragedy. Our joint Rumanian-Nepalese expedition, which hoped to climb Gurja Himal by the south face and southeast ridge over Komban (6567 meters), set up Base Camp at 3100 meters on the Tareja Khola on April 26. We reconnoitered from April 26 to 30. Because we had insufficient equipment and noted frequent avalanches on the south face, all the Nepalese, co-leader Ang Karma Sherpa, Miss Lakpa Dolma Lama, Purba Kitar Sherpa and Nima Dorji Lama, and Rumanians Dr. Pavel Maresan, Avel Ritisan, Marius Marcus and I as co-leader decided to give up the Tareja Khola route in favor of the easier and safer route from the Kaphe Khola. This was agreed to by the liaison officer, D.P. Dahal. Nonetheless, Rumanians Mrs. Taina Coliban, Emil Coliban and Dr. Cezar Vargulescu did not accept the decision and stayed on the Tareja Khola route, separating themselves from the official team. Cornel Coman had been absent purchasing food in Kathmandu and on his return, he joined the unofficial group. On May 2 the official team proceeded towards the Kaphe Khola. We set up Base Camp and Camps I, II and III on May 11, 12, 14 and 15 at 4150, 4700, 5800 and 6500 meters. We followed more or less the route the Japanese had just taken. on May 17 Ang Karma, Lakpa Dolma and Purba Kitar left Camp II at six A.M. and reached the summit at eleven A.M. [4600 vertical feet in five hours!—Editor.] On May 18 Marcus, Ritisan, Muresan, Nima Dorji and porter Bir Bahadur Tamang left Camp III at six A.M. and reached the summit at 10:20 A.M. We had no news of the separated Rumanians until we received a letter from the surviving three, informing us of the death on May 15 of Dr. Vargulescu, struck by rockfall. They had reached a high point of 6000 meters on the south face of Komban.
Ovidiu Bojor, Rumania