American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Asia, Nepal, Kangchenjunga

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 1987

Kangchenjunga. Our expedition climbed Kangchenjunga by the southwest face, the normal route. We left Kathmandu on August 22 and got to Ramze, the last camp before the glacier, in 12 days. There, we lost our fifth Sherpa, Lhakpa Nuru, who mysteriously disappeared, never to be seen again. We then had the usual porter problems and bad weather, which made us take nine days to get the rest of the way to Base Camp, which should have taken us two; we and the Sherpas had to ferry to Base Camp, which we placed at 5000 meters on September 15. We established Camps I, II and III at 6100 meters on the intermediate ridge, at 6700 meters and at 7200 meters on the upper “plateau” on September 22, 25 and 27. On October 6 we returned to Camp III. By then, all camps were stocked and 1200 meters of rope had been fixed. Heavy snowfall prevented our establishing Camp IV and forced us back to Base Camp. Finally on October 16 we placed Camp IV at 7800 meters, having had to dig out Camp II and replace Camp III, which was destroyed by avalanches that fell from Yalung Kang. The next day a summit attempt in bad weather failed when one member had superficial frostbite. The constant bad weather changed on the 20th, but it was cold and windy. We started a last try on October 21, getting to Camp IV on the 23rd. At two A.M. on October 24 Josep Parmañé, Ang Rita Sherpa and I set out. At 8400 meters the intense cold forced me back. My companions reached the summit at one P.M. and were back in Camp IV at five P.M. This was Ang Rita’s fourth 8000er. He has climbed Dhaulagiri four times, Everest three times, Cho Oyu and Kangchenjunga each once. Our Catalán expedition was composed of Josep Permañé, Ramón Estiu, Francesc Casas, Joan Cardona, Xabier Erro, Santi Carrillo, Salvador Coll, Kim Bover, Dr. Jordi Terrades and me as leader.

Joan Hugas, Girona, Spain

This AAJ article has been reformatted into HTML. Please contact us if you spot an error.