Kumbhakarna (Jannu) Attempt. Pierre Rizzardo, leader, Robin Molinatti, Xavier Cret and I attempted a climb on the north side of Kumbhakarna (7710 meters, 25,295 feet). We planned to climb a new route leading to the virgin pass between Sobithongie (6670 meters) and Kumbhakarna and then to ascend the northwest buttress of Kumbhakarna. On September 20, we set up Base Camp at 4600 meters on the right side of the Kumbhakarna Glacier. We acclimatized by fixing ropes on the 700-meter-high rock buttress which leads to the foot of the north face. We established Camp I at 5400 meters on October 1. It took three days to climb with fixed ropes the first 500 meters of the steep face below the pass. On the fourth day, we completed the climb to bivouac in the pass at 6350 meters. To there we had found impressive ice walls with sustained 80° sections and then 150 meters of strenuous mixed climbing. We rested at the pass on October 11. We then climbed on the northwest buttress, finding ice climbing up to 70°, harder than we had expected. We spent the night at 6900 meters in a tiny snow cave carved in an ice flute. Because of obvious difficulties in the traverse to the southwest ridge and because of wind and cold, we renounced the effort the next morning and rappelled off.
Paul Robach, Club Alpin Français