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Asia, Nepal, Everest, South Face, Winter Attempt, 1991-2

Everest, Southwest Face, Winter Attempt, 1991-2. Sixteen Japanese climbers with 25 Sherpas to help them were led by Kuniaki Yagihara. Their goal was to make the first winter ascent of the formidable southwest face, which had previously been ascended only three times but never in winter. They spent three long months on the mountain, but in the end the wind defeated them. When deputy leader Yoshio Ogata and Fumiaki Goto made the first attempt to set up Camp V at 8350 meters on December 21, the wind broke their tent poles, forcing them to descend without establishing the camp. They had managed to climb a small distance above the camp site which turned out to be the team’s high point. Camp V was occupied on January 8,15 and 29, 1992, but none of the climbers was able to venture higher. A total of seven tents, including two at Base Camp, were tom apart. They decided on February 9 to abandon their effort, which had started on November 16.

Elizabeth Hawley