American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Asia, Nepal, Himlung, Attempt

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 2000

Himlung, Attempt. The members of the expedition were Götz Wiegand (leader), Frank Meutzner, Olaf Zill, Matthias Braun, Tilo Bähr and myself. We started our expedition in September. Before starting out to attempt Himlung, we met Miss Elizabeth Hawley in Kathmandu. We have heard about the fact that Himlung was quite hard to find. It seemed that other expedition teams would possibly be there, too. But the information we received was very poor and conflicting. The biggest problem for us was that everything we heard about Himlung could possibly refer to Nemjung, located close to Himlung. So we collected all the available information and started for Base Camp at the foot of Himlung, Gyachikang and Nemjung. This BC was used by a Japanese expedition in 1992.

The weather was very unusual for the time: very cloudy and a lot of snow. We tried to find a good route to Camp I, which we set up on a saddle at 5300 meters on the west ridge. The next day, we climbed up to establish Camp II. At an altitude of 6000 meters we had to stop. It was hard to progress; deep new snow and thin ice crust prohibited us from going on. Götz and Matthias kept on going to find a place for CII. After setting up that camp at 6150 meters, Frank and Olaf went higher. They told us that it was very difficult to find the route through the glacier they had to cross. It was very dangerous, because there was an extremely high possibility of avalanches all the time. The route went along a ridge with snow cornices. Two cornices in particular, each 200 meters long, on the top of an 800-meter, 60-degree wall, made us turn back on October 10. It was too difficult to keep on going and the possibility that the cornices might crash down was very high. So we went back to climb another summit, a 5800- meter peak nearby.

Angela Hampel, Germany

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