American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Asia, Tibet, Exploration of Unclimbed Peaks in Tibet, and Mt. Zhemazhenyon, First Ascent

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 2001

Exploration of Unclimbed Peaks in Tibet, and Mt. Zhemazhenyon, First Ascent. From summer to autumn of the last year of the 20th century, we explored unclimbed peaks in an unknown area of Tibet.

In my first plan, our target was Mt. Ruoni (6610m), the main peak of the Kangri Garpo Mountains, east of Mt. Namcha Barwa (7782m). I’ve been interested in this mountain since I saw a photograph in The Glaciers of Xizang (Tibet), which was published in the autumn of 1986 in China. We applied to the Chinese Mountaineering Association for permission to climb this mountain the very next year. After an interval of 13 years, I at last got permission.

In the summer of 2000, we had a heavy rainy season in Tibet. We could not go near Mt. Ruoni because a road to it was broken in many places, forcing us to give up. We changed our aim to Mt. Tarlha Ri (6777m), which is located near Bhutan to the east of Mt. Kula Kangri (7538m) and has no climbing records. Its height is given as 6614 meters in The Mountains of Central Asia and it lies almost due south of Lhasa in a big north-south mountain range of six 6000-meter peaks.

Losa (3850m), the main base, is a one-day journey from Lhasa by car. We established Base Camp at Yayu Co (River) on August 8. However, we could not advance, because the condition of the glacier was very bad. We gave up this route and changed our objective to Mt. Zhemazhenyon (6480m), the northernmost peak of the range. On August 14, we made a new BC at 4800 meters on the Cu Chu. We ascended up the Cu Chu and made camps at 5400 and 5800 meters. On August 25, A. Nozawai and Y. Ota succeeded in making the first ascent of this peak. Moreover, the next day, they made the first ascent of Mt. Maisha Kangri (5993m) to the north of Mt. Zhemazhenyon.

We returned to Lhasa via Mendan, because a bridge across Cu Chu was washed away by heavy rain.

In Lhasa, N. Ozawai and I joined H. Iwazaki and M. Suzuki, who had just finished an ascent of Spantik (7027m) in Pakistan, and went to the north foot of Kula Kangri again, establishing BC on September 11. Everyone except me attempted to climb a new route on the north face in alpine style, but gave up at 6750 meters because of dangerous avalanche conditions.

After our expedition, Iwazaki and I rode on horseback to explore Mt. Tongshangjabu (7207m) on the border with Bhutan. From Chucuo, we went west to Lozaxiong Chu and at the village of Nai went north and over some passes, at last reaching Tse La (5275m). After descending from the pass, we succeeded in taking photographs of the north faces of some unclimbed mountains, such as Mt. Tongshangjabu, Mt. Teri Kang (7125m), Mt. Kangphu Kang (7202m) and Mt. Jejekangphu Kang (6825m), for the first time.

Kinichi Yamamori, Himalayan Association of Japan

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