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Asia, Nepal, Saipal Attempt

Saipal Attempt. Our members were Frank Evans, Matthew Heffer, John Holland, Caroline Purkhardt, Julia Wood and I as leader. We had hoped to climb Saipal (7031 meters, 23,068 feet) by a new route, approaching from Surkhet in 18 days up the Karnali River system. We finally reached the Kuwari Khola and established Base Camp below the east face of Saipal at 3650 meters on April 26. We made Advance Base at 3850 meters in the middle of the glacier below two large icefalls separated by a rock buttress. Avalanches and rockfall ruled out any direct assault on the face. We circumvented the right icefall to the north and camped at 4800 meters, but attempts to reach the north ridge via its northeast spur were unfruitful. We descended into Humla and climbed avalanche-prone slopes to camp at 5200 meters. Our final effort was to climb to 5700 meters on the northeast spur. While descending from this camp, Nuru Sherpa fell and broke his ankle. A marathon journey was made over the Chote Lagna (4700 meters) to Simikot to order a helicopter, which evacuated him on May 21. We left our Base Camp on May 26, traveled through upper Humla and completed the loop by trekking from Simikot to Jumla via Rara Lake.

Chuck Evans, England