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Asia, Nepal, Mount Ratnachuli, First Ascent

Mount Ratnachuli, First Ascent. The first mountaineers ever to set foot on Mount Ratnachuli were this autumn's expedition from Japan’s Shinshu University and the Nepalese Police Mountaineering Foundation. Their 7035-meter peak stands on Nepal’s border with Tibet north of Mount Manaslu and was forbidden to any climbers until the police managed to get the Nepalese authorities to put it on the permitted list for this climb. This expedition of eight Japanese and four Nepalese members under the leadership of Mitsunori Watanabe and the climbing leadership of Osamu Tanabe, both Japanese, made their approach from the west and surmounted the west peak and west ridge to reach the top in three waves of summiters on October 14, 16 and 18 after heavy snowfall had subsided. All eight Japanese members (who were aged between 20 and 54 years), three Nepalese members and five Nepalese high-altitude porters succeeded on their very long but not technically difficult route.

Elizabeth Hawley