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Asia, India—Sikkim, Gemmigela I (Twin I) Ascent and Tragedy

Gemmigela I (Twin I) Ascent and Tragedy. A Japanese expedition of eight was led by Kenshiro Otaki. On October 29, Shigeru Yokokawa and Sherpas Pasang Tensing, Dawang and Pasang completed the first ascent of the peak (7350 meters, 24,144 feet), but all returned with serious frostbite and had to be evacuated. On October 31, Kazunori Chikui and Ishimori Takashima also reached the summit. They retreated to their high camp at 6700 meters but were trapped there by heavy storms. They were last heard from on November 3. Finally, on November 21, Sherpas found their bodies in the final camp. In 1993, a Japanese expedition attempted this peak. They reached the summit of Gemmigela II and were attempting to continue to the main peak when Masanori Sato was killed in a crevasse fall and the expedition abandoned. [See AAJ, 1994, pages 203-4.]

Harish Kapadia, Editor, Himalayan Journal