P 6509 Attempt, Kang Karpo Range, Northwest Yünnan. In September and October, Gary Driggs, Henry Everding, Clifford Leight, Klev Schoening, Pete Schoening and I, supported by Professor Zhou Zheng, Sun Po, Zhou Hong, Lin Conq, Sun Yu and Dr. Shi Quan Sheng, again visited the Kang Karpo Range. Our main objective was the second highest mountain in the range, P 6509 (21,356 feet). The climbing party led by Pete Schoening crossed the Shu La into Tibet and established Base Camp under the west ridge. They crossed over the foot of a spur on the west ridge and traversed to climb, mostly on loose slate and shale, up a second rock buttress to reach the ridge. Camp III was placed at 5300 meters on the ridge. The summit attempt was stopped at 6100 meters by avalanche conditions and a small snow wall with an overhanging cornice that blocked the ridge. As it would have taken another camp there and since time and food were limited, the party retreated. Meanwhile, I circled the range by making the Tibetan pilgrimage over the Doker La to the Salween River and then up over the Shu La from the west. Although the Kang Karpo Range presents a difficult challenge from the Mekong side, the Salween River side is even more challenging and the logistics are much more difficult.
Nicholas B. Clinch