American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Asia, Nepal, Kangchenjunga Traverses

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 1990

Kangchenjunga Traverses. The second Soviet Himalayan expedition had 32 members, of whom 22 climbers spent two years of hard training and high- altitude acclimatization in the Caucasus, Pamir and Tien Shan. The leader was Eduard Myslovsky, who in 1982 made a new route with Vladimir Balyberdin and others on the southwest face of Everest. The expedition left Moscow on February 8 and arrived with 600 porters at their 5350-meter Base Camp below the normal route on March 4. The Soviet climbers with the help of Sherpas established five camps on the slopes of the main, central, south summits of Kangchenjunga and of Yalung Kang, which is the westernmost top of Kangchenjunga. On April 9, Vasily Yelagin, Vladimir Korotaev, Eugeny Klin- ezky and Alexander Sheinov ascended to the main summit, making its 27th ascent. On April 15, Sergei Bershov, Viktor Pastuk, Mikhail Turkevich and Rinat Chaibullin made the third ascent of the south summit. That same day, Balyberdin, Sergei Arsentiev, Anatoly Bukreev and Valery Khrishchaty made the fourth ascent of the central summit. On April 16, Kazbek Valiev, Viktor Dedy, Grigory Lunjakov, Vladimir Suviga, Zijnur Khalitov, Alexander Glush- kovsky, Yuri Moiseev and Leonid Troshchinenko reached the main summit. On April 18, Eugeny Vinogradsky, Korotaev, Mikhail Mozaev and Alexander Pogorelov again got to the south summit. On April 29, Pastuk, Mozaev, Korotaev, Chaibullin and Sergei Bogomolov reached the main summit and Pastuk, Mozaev and Korotaev continued on over the south summit. On April 30, the traverse of the entire ridge began. The first group traversed from Yalung Kang to the main, central and south summits mainly, but not entirely, along the summit ridges. Bershov, Bukreev, Vinogradsky, Pogorelov and Turkevich made the 15th ascent of Yalung Kang and traversed to Camp V below the main summit. On May 1, they left Camp V at eight A.M. and were on the main summit at 10:10. After an hour’s rest in mild, windless weather, they continued on to reach the central summit at 12:40 and the south summit at three P.M. All five used supplementary oxygen. This first group was accompanied to the summit of Yalung Kang on April 30 by Arsentiev, Klinezky, Suviga, Khrishchaty, Dedy and Sheinov. On May 1, a second group of five attacked the south summit first. The leader of the group Elagin, Lunyakov and Khalitov with oxygen got to the south summit at 12:10 P.M. but were obliged to wait for Balyberdin and Korotaev, who were without oxygen. It was decided that all should continue on oxygen. At 3:40 they reached the central summit and traversed to Camp V between the main summit and Yalung Kang. On May 2, they climbed to the main summit and then reached Yalung Kang at 2:10 PM. This completed the traverse by ten climbers in opposite directions. On May 3, the main summit was ascended by Soviets Nikolai Cherny and Sergei Yefimov and Ang Babu Sherpa. In most cases the Soviets used supplementary oxygen for safety sake. However, Kazbek Valiev’s group on April 16 climbed without it. The next day, while the group was descending, Dr. Karpenko examined Valiev, who was not feeling well, and found that he was being threatened by edema. (The Editor is very grateful to Dr. Kolev, who was not part of the Soviet team, for this information.)

Svetoslav Kolev, Bulgarian Mountaineering Federation

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