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Asia, Nepal, Gyachung Kang Attempt

Gyachung Kang Attempt. Nine Britons, most of them in the army, and nine Nepalese, including two Gurkhas, were led by Major Roger Antolik. They were unable to get higher than 7100 meters on the lower part of the west face, where they had hoped to pioneer a new route. They had spent three weeks, energy and supplies fighting their way through treacherous icefalls to the bottom of the face. Four British members, Chris Barnes, David Orange, Gregory Hall and Andrew Hughes, reached 7100 meters on May 17. Then came four days of heavy snowfall and tremendous avalanching. Their tracks were wiped out, fixed ropes covered and the temperature rose, making the snow very sticky. One last bid for the summit was mounted on May 21 by all available manpower, but five men got avalanched at 6850 meters the next day. The weather remained unstable and so the climb was called off. The expedition’s original intention had been to climb the southwest ridge, but this feature was too dangerously corniced even to attempt.

Elizabeth Hawley