Kumbhakarna (Jannu) North Face. Erik Decamp, François Marsigny, Spaniard Juan Tomás and I arrived at Base Camp on September 23. Since Eric was coming from Mustagh Ata and I from Everest, we two were well acclimatized. We first had planned to climb the steep ramp between the Japanese route and the huge rock wall. The first buttress was fixed by the Dutch with their ropes and ours. We placed Camp I at 5400 meters on the glacier below the big wall. From October 6 to 11 we climbed on the ramp, although threatening séracs at 6700 meters made us hesitate. At last, after two days searching for a passage, we climbed it and went on. After so much time we were short on food, gas and equipment. Cold was exhausting as the sun hit our route only one hour before dusk. We backed off, deciding to return to the face via the Japanese ramp. The Netherlanders were better off there. After the accident to them, Marsigny and Tomás left the expedition. On October 19 a terrible storm destroyed Base Camp, Deposit Camp and Camp I, and we lost much equipment. Then the weather turned clear, but windy and cold. From October 21 to 25, we climbed the face, using the Dutch ropes for the first 100 meters. Above that we went alpine-style. Bivouacs were at 6000, 6600 and 7200 meters. Luckily the wind stopped for the summit climb. The last ridge took us only four hours with incredible views. We were on the summit at 12:30 P.M. In two days we were in the valley and in five in Kathmandu.
Pierre Beghin, Groupe de Haute Montagne