AAC Publications - http://publications.americanalpineclub.org

Asia, Nepal, Kangchenjunga, Attempt

Kangchenjunga, Attempt. The main goal of an 11-member Slovak expedition was to climb Kangchenjunga by the 1981 Czechoslovak Route. The leader of this expedition was Jaryk Stejskal, who in the 1980s summitted Lhotse Shar, Dhaulaghiri and Cho Oyu. The weather was very poor the entire time. The first attempt was made by three climbers: Juraj Kardhordo (Cho Oyu, 1995), and two novices to the Himalayas, Vladimir Plulik and Jaroslav Vondercik. On May 5, they reached 7700 meters, where they decided to retreat because of deep snow and strong winds. The second attempt was made from the Camp III (6800m) by the next three climbers: Jindro Martis (45), Martin Gablik (43) and Stanislav Glejdura (39). By 11 a.m. on May 8, they were at 8300 meters. There was a lot of new, waist-deep snow, and their progress was very slow, forcing them to descend. The third attempt was made by Kardhordo and Vondercik. On May 13, at 5 p.m., they reached 8500 meters, very near the summit. They climbed the whole day in a very strong wind, continually thinking about retreat options. Kardhordo and Vondercik climbed 40 meters above the col, where a very strong wind was blowing. They realized that they would be not able to reach the summit until dusk, and that they had no chance to bivy there. They decided to descend because they did not want to take such a high risk. The Slovak Expedition came very close to the summit of Kangchenjunga, missing its goal by a lack of good fortune.

Vladimir Linek, Jamesak