American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Asia, Tibet, Kula Kangri, Second Ascent

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 1995

Kula Kangri, Second Ascent. An Austrian expedition consisting of Gerhard Berger, Anton Dollfuss, Dr. Martin Donner, Kurt Ebner, Helmut Ortner, Otto Plattner and me left Kathmandu on April 14, crossed into Tibet at Kodari and traveled east through Xegar and Xigatse to Base Camp at 5200 meters north of Kula Kangri. (The peak lies north of Bhutan.) Berger had to leave the expedition because of high-altitude sickness. Camp I was established at 5700 meters, 15 kilometers up a moraine-covered glacier, complicated by an icefall. We then attacked the west ridge, the only route not objectively dangerous. On April 27, Ortner, Plattner and Dollfuss attacked the northwest face of the west ridge, an ice slope with angles up to 70°, and reached a shoulder on the ridge at 6200 meters. On April 29, Ebner and I climbed with gear to the shoulder. The next day, we returned to the shoulder, climbed a 60-meter ice step and placed Camp II at 6400 meters. We all fixed about 400 meters of rope. After a stormy night, on May 1 Ebner and I set out on the summit attempt in cold, clear weather. Climbing for 40 paces and then resting, we headed for the rocky foresummit on ever-steepening ice. At 7100 meters, we slabbed onto the south flank to avoid the foresummit. To our amazement, we found there a tent from the 1986 Japanese expedition. Ebner reached the summit (7554 meters, 24,784 feet), but I turned back at 7400 meters. On May 3, Ortner, Plattner and Dollfuss also climbed to the summit. On April 21, 1986, Japanese C. Itani, J. Sakamoto, H. Ozaki and E. Ohtani had made the first ascent, also by the west ridge, followed the next day by T. Morinaga and H. Hasegawa.

Peter Weingartner, Österreichischer Touristenklub

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