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Asia, Nepal, Gyachungkang, South Face Attempt

Gyachungkang, South Face Attempt. Our expedition Was composed of Basques Antxon Zamabide, F. Garatea, Martín Zebaleta, Kike de Pablo and me and Americans Hooman Aprin, Ron Matous, Dr. Robin Houston, Edward Farrar and Michael Ruckhouse. In Kathmandu we found out that the route we had hoped to climb had been done by the French in the spring. On September 26 Matous, Aprin, de Pablo and I set up Base Camp at 5100 meters in the same spot as that used for the south face of Cho Oyu. On October 1 after we tried to pass across the icefall that gives access to the Nup La, we set up Camp I more to the west at 5700 meters, near the ridge that leads to Ngojumba Kang. The weather was bad and it snowed every day until October 15. Matous fell sick, while Aprin, de Pablo and I waited for 12 days before making the route in deep snow through the second icefall. On October 19 we set up Camp II at 6250 meters and on the 20th broke trail to the bergschrund at the foot of the southwest spur of Gyachungkang at 6500 meters. As we descended to rest at Base Camp, we found at Camp I the rest of the expedition, which had arrived at Base Camp on October 14. On October 26 we attacked the face: Aprin, de Pablo and I on one rope and Zabaleta and Matous on the other. The last two descended from 6700 meters. We three bivouacked at 6800 and 7100 meters but descended on October 28 after fighting all night not to be blown away by a furious wind.

José Luis Zuloaga, Orhi Mendi, Federación Vasca Montaña, Spain