American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Asia, Nepal, Ohmi Kangri

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

Ohmi Kangri. The Nepalese-American Ohmi Kangri Expedition was the first American group to visit this area of northeastern Nepal on the Tibetan border. Our leaders were Rick Richards and Sangya Dorje. We left Basantipur on April 9. The first nine days of our trek to Base Camp went up the Tamur River past Yangma and continued north. Our first view of our mountain came only one hour below Base Camp at 5130 meters on April 21. It is easy to see why early maps confused Ohmi Kangri with Nupchu. Our original joint team comprised ten climbers: seven Americans and three Sherpas. Two weeks into the climb the strength was reduced to four, primarily due to illness. We ascended the west face to the southwest ridge. Between Camps I and II there was much more snow than the Swiss encountered when they climbed the peak previously and we fixed 300 feet of rope on a steep section approaching Camp II. From Camp II to III on a very difficult section with ice and rock faces, we placed 1500 feet of rope. On May 9, Dawa Nuru Sherpa, Jan Harris and Mingma Gyalzen Sherpa reached the summit. Dawa Nuru was also one of the first-ascent party in 1985; he reported that the route from Camp III to the summit this year was much more difficult than before with hard ice replacing what had been firm snow. The official altitude of 6829 meters or 22,405 has been controversial; our altimeter read 22,850 feet (6964 meters). On May 13, the day after we removed the last gear from the mountain, the sunny weather we had been enjoying was replaced by blustery, snowy weather. It rained enough at lower altitudes during the trek back to wash out the road we had used in April. We walked an extra two days to Dhankuta, arriving there on May 28 and hired a bus for the first stage of our journey back to Kathmandu.

Ken Zafren

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