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Asia, Southeastern China, Gonga Shan Attempt and Tragedy

Gonga Sham Attempt and Tragedy. On August 25. Hitoshi Watanabe, Takuya Fukuzawa, Sachiko Takada (f), Yasuyuki Watanabe, Yosuke Suzuki, Junji Kudo and I as leader established Base Camp at 3950 meters near the tongue of the Yanzeko Glacier north of the peak. Camps I and II were placed on the glacier at 4200 and 4950 meters on August 30 and September 6. We climbed the staircase-like glacier on the west face of the northeast ridge, fixing 33 ropes. Camp III was put just below the northeast ridge at 5850 meters on September 19 and on the 20th four climbed the spur that joins the northeast ridge to 6050 meters, fixing seven more ropes. After some bad weather, at eleven A.M. on September 28, Fukuzawa, Y. Watanabe, Suzuki and Kudo radioed from Camp III that they had collected loads from the glacier and would climb to prepare the route higher. At three P.M., nobody answered me by walkie-talkie. They must have been lost in an avalanche. On the 30th, Hitoshi Watanabe and I climbed to Camp II but could find nothing with binoculars. On October 1, we tried to dig up fixed ropes to get to Camp III, but we could find only four of the 33 fixed ropes in the avalanche debris. We gave up the search to avoid a double accident.

Kinichi Yamamori, Himalayan Association of Japan