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Asia, India—Sikkim, Gemmigel II (Twin II) Ascent and Tragedy

Gemmigela II (Twin II) Ascent and Tragedy. From Lachen to Base Camp at Green Lake (4930 meters), it was a strenuous five days of trekking up and down mountain paths. We had to cross dangerous rapids by using log bridges with ropes stretched between the banks as a safety measure. My personal target, Green Lake, was a paradise with Kangchenjunga and the other peaks rising above. I believe that I am the only person over 80 years of age to reach the lake. The climbers crossed to Nepal Gap Glacier, on which they placed Camps I and II at 5200 and 5800 meters on September 25 and 27. Camp III was on the ridge between Gimmigela II and Sugarloaf at 6500 meters. Camp IV was placed just below the top of Gimmigela II at 6900 meters on October 9. Japanese Hideo Koike, Masanori Sato, Taroh Tanigawa and Indian Sherpas Phurba, Chuldin and Pasang Nima reached the summit of the east peak, Gemmigela II, (7005 meters, 22,982 feet) on October 13. At five A.M. on October 18, the final assault team left Camp V on the ridge between the main and east peaks for the main peak, Gemmigela I (7350 meters, 24,144 feet). A 7:30 A.M., the climbing leader, Masanori Sato, fell 35 meters into a hidden crevasse and was instantly killed. Despite all efforts, the others could not recover the body. Out of consideration for our lost friend, the expedition was terminated. The expedition leader was Tsuguyasu Itami.

Ko Yoshida, Japanese Alpine Club