American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Asia, Chinese Karakoram, The Crown (Huan Guan Shan) Attempt and Tragedy

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 1993

The Crown (Huan Guan Shan) Attempt and Tragedy. The 11-member Himalayan Association of Japan to Huan Guan Shan (7295 meters, 23,934 feet) was led by Kinichi Yamamori. For acclimatization, the expedition first traveled to Mustagh Ata where they made three summit bids, the highest reaching 6900 meters. They left there on August 22 and got to the Huan Guan Base Camp at 4000 meters on the 28th. They attacked the southeast face. Camps I, II, III, IV and VI were placed at 4200,4400, 5100, 5800 and 6500 meters on September 1, 2, 7, 15 and 22. On September 28, Yuji Futamata and Hiroshi Nakagawa reconnoitered the route to 7000 meters and descended to Camp III. On October 2, they started back up. Between Camp III and IV, 25 pitches were fixed with rope. At about 4:45 P.M., Nakagawa was jümaring the 25th pitch and Futmata was on the pitch behind him. An avalanche swept over them. The rope held Nakagawa, but the rope on the 24th pitch broke at the point where Futamata’s Jümar clasped it. Bits and pieces of his equipment were found in the debris, but his body was not recovered. This was the fourth unsuccessful attempt on the mountain and the second that ended in tragedy. (See AAJ, 1988, page 286 and AAJ 1991, page 301.)

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