American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Asia, Southeastern China, Namcha Barwa Attempt and Tragedy

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 1992

Namcha Barwa Attempt and Tragedy. What is doubtless the highest unclimbed main peak in the world, Namcha Barwa (7782 meters, 25,520 feet) was attempted by a joint Japanese-Chinese expedition from the Japanese Alpine Club and the Chinese Mountaineering Association with six climbers from each country. Base Camp was established at 3520 meters on September 28. They began to move over the south peak, Naipun (7043 meters, 24,107 feet), placing Camps I and II at 4300 and 4850 meters on October 2 and 13. As Hiroshi Onishi was pushing the route higher on October 16, he was killed by an avalanche. After a pause of ten days, they continued, harrassed by high winds and snowfall. Finally, Camps IV and V were established at 6150 and 6900 meters on November 2 and 15. They descended into the col between Naipun and the main peak and placed Camp VI at 6700 meters on the main peak on November 19. Ropes were fixed to 7200 meters. On November 20, Japanese Kazushige Takami, Satoshi Kimoto and another Japanese and two Chinese climbed to the base of the rock band at 7350 meters but turned back because of heavy snowfall and avalanche danger. On the 22nd, Takami and others climbed back, surmounted the rock band but gave up the attempt because of an avalanche-prone snow slope. Further details and a photograph are found in Iwa To Yuki, 150, February 1992.

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