American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Asia, Western China, The Crown (Huang Guan Feng) Attempt and Tragedy

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

The Crown (Huang Guan Feng) Attempt and Tragedy. A Himalayan Association of Japan expedition, led by Hideo Tateno, attempted the Crown (7265 meters, 23,835 feet) by its southern face. The members were Hideo Tateno, Jasuhiro Hashimoto, Dr. Isao Suganuma, Juji Fukamata, Takeo Yanagisawa, Tsugoshi Sasaki and Hideo Masuka. They had established three camps, the highest at 5800 meters by September 24 and had climbed to 6400 meters on the southeast ridge. An accident occurred on September 27, seen by nobody. Tateno and Suganuma did not return to Base Camp when they were expected. They had been at Camp I. They reported all well by radio. They were to pick up one of the two tents at Advance Base at 4400 meters and carry it down to Base Camp. Later, during the search, it was determined that only one tent remained at Advance Base and so they had obviously passed below there. At 4:10 P.M. the Chinese liaison heard a great sound and saw flying snow. On the Skamri Glacier at 4300 meters, a search party the next day found highly compacted ice that was 120 meters wide, 300 meters long and one to two meters thick in an area where it had previously been possible to walk on the moraine. The search in the avalanche debris revealed nothing because it was impossible to dig in the dense ice. The attempt was abandoned.

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