AAC Publications - http://publications.americanalpineclub.org

Asia, Tibet, Namcha Barwa

Namcha Barwa. Japanese and Chinese climbers reconnoitered Namcha Barwa, the world’s highest unclimbed peak, in November and December, 1990 and reached 6900 meters on Naipun. A Sino-Japanese attempt in the autumn of 1991 reached 7460 meters, but unfortunately Hiroshi Onishi died in an avalanche while attempting to reach the site for Camp IV. A third joint expedition was successful. The Japanese members were Kazuo Yamamoto, Toichi Mitani, Hiroshi Aota, Atsushi Yamamoto, Masunori Satoh and I as co-leader. The Chinese members were Sanju, co-leader, Jiabu, Tsering Dorje, Bianba Zhashi, Da Chimi and Da Chiong. We climbed the south ridge over Naipun Peak. We established Base Camp and Camps I, II, III, IV and V at 3520, 4350, 4800, 5600, 6200 and 6900 meters on September 14, 15, 16, 23, 30 and October 11. Summit attempts were made between October 13 and 21 but were beaten back by bad weather. The attack party set out again from Base Camp on October 24, climbing to Camp III. They occupied Camps IV and V on the next two nights. On October 27, they established Camp VI at 6700 meters beyond the intermediate peak, Naipun. On the 28th, they traced the route to 7200 meters. The next day, six climbed beyond the rock band to 7600 meters and bivouacked there because of bad weather. The other six of us set out from Camp VI early the next morning, the 30th. On October 30, a total of eleven climbers climbed to the summit of Namcha Barwa (7782 meters, 25,520 feet). I turned back at the rock band. We left Base Camp on November 7.

Tsuneo Shigehiro, Japanese Alpine Club