American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Asia, India, Uttar Pradesh, Central Garhwal, Thalay Sagar, Attempts and Tragedy

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 1999

Thalay Sagar, Attempts and Tragedy. From August to October, a Japanese expedition led by Hiroshi Doke reached 6300 meters on the northeast ridge of Thalay Sagar (6904m). During the same time period, Hyung Jin Kim led a Korean expedition to the north face of the mountain. Korean teams had already made six attempts on Thalay Sagar via the popular East Pillar and West Ridge routes and on the technical north face. For the seventh attempt, again on the north face, the team left Delhi on August 23, made Base Camp on September 1 and established Camp I before making four bivouacs to reach a point 75 meters below the summit. Three members of the expedition, Hyung Jin Kim, Sung-Chul Choi, and Sang-Man Shin, died when a cornice near the summit broke and fell on them on September 28. A member of the expedition who was in communication with the team last heard from them at 5:30 p.m. that day. He then saw them falling through his binoculars.

Earlier, the team had decided to abandon its effort, as bad weather and continuous white- out persisted for a number of days in the month of September, making progress difficult. On September 27, the weather had cleared, and the team had decided to make one last attempt. It is unclear how their line related to the 1997 Australian or the 1987 Hungarian routes on the north face.

From reports by Col. Ajit Dutt, and Harish Kapadia, Honorary Editor, The Himalayan Journal

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