American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Asia, Nepal, Kangchenjanga North Face Attempt

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 1991

Kangchenjunga North Face Attempt. Our expedition unsuccessfully tried the British route on the north side of Kangchenjunga, which we chose over the Japanese route because of poor snow cover and hard ice. We were five Basques: Koldo Aldaz, Juan Tomás, Juan Cebriain, Pedro Larregui and Iñaki Otxoa, and five Poles (four of them women): Krystyna Palmowska, Jolanta Patynowska, Amalia Kaploniak, Dr. Ryszard Dlugolecki and I as leader. We had a two-week approach (18 days from Kathmandu) from Basantapur. From Ghunsa we walked in wintry conditions with snowfall and icy winds. We established Base Camp at Pangpema at 5150 meters on March 27. On April 2, Camp I was placed at 5800 meters. On the 11th, Camp II was pitched at 6500 meters but moved to a schrund at 6700 meters because of avalanche danger three days later. Above Camp II, very hard ice made climbing difficult. After April 10, strong winds hampered upward progress. In April 26, provisional Camp III was set up on the north ridge at 7200 meters, but on May 11 it was carried over beneath the “Castle” step on the ridge to 7400 meters. A summit push on May 13 was halted by violent wind. The high point of 7800 meters was reached by Ignacio Ochoa. We decided to abandon the expedition and left Base Camp on May 17.

Anna CzerwiNska, Klub Wysokogórski Warszawa, Poland

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