Asia, Nepal, Kumbhakarna (Jannu)

Publication Year: 1988.

Kumbhakarna (Jannu). Our team was made up of Elizabeth Julliard, Marion Gaillard, Gérard Auger, Jean-Robert Grasso, Mario Paffumi, Frédéric Vallet, Michel Vincent and me. We trekked for eleven days from Shidua to Ghunsa. After the storm, which left much snow up high, we went with yaks and porters from Ghunsa to Base Camp I at 4500 meters, the same site as that used by the French expedition in 1962. We set up Base Camp II in the middle of the Yamatari Glacier on October 23. On October 23 and 24, we established Camp I up the glacier at 5300 meters below the Eperon des Jeunes (Youngsters’ Spur). A south-facing ice couloir rose above Camp I to the middle of the spur. It was some 45°, but in places up to 60°. On the 25th and 26th, Julliard, Vallet, Vincent and I climbed the couloir and went along the ridge on mixed terrain for several rope-lengths. The ridge above was so snow-covered and corniced that it would have taken many days to fix. On October 27, we continued up the glacier to place Camp II at 6000 meters. There was some danger in séracs and one vertical passage. We occupied Camp II on October 29. We climbed to the crest of the Eperon des Jeunes to a col above our previous high point and along the ridge to under the Tete du Butoir. After some rope was fixed, Camp III was installed there at 6400 meters. On November 3, Julliard, Vallet, Vincent and I left Camp II on our summit attempt. We slept at Camp III. On the 4th, we quickly crossed the Tete du Butoir and continued to the foot of the Arete de la Dentelle (Lace Ridge), where we bivouacked. On November 5, we climbed the Lace Ridge and crossed the Throne Glacier to 7000 meters, where we set up Camp IV. On November 6, we started directly for the summit, possibly a little late in the morning. We climbed the ice slope to where the 1962 French Camp VI had been. Above this, at 7400 meters on the very narrow ridge Julliard and I turned

back. It was two P.M. and we were beginning to get frostbitten. Vallet and Vincent continued on to the summit. They came back at night and reached Camp IV at eleven P.M. We were all back in Base Camp II on November 8.

Henri Sigayret, Groupe de Haute Montague