American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Asia, Nepal, Damodar Himal, Pokharkan, First Ascent

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 2003

Pokharkan, first ascent. Sherpa Panima Lama (51) and I (61) made the first ascent of Pokharkan (6,346m) on October 31. We climbed the north ridge via a route that is not highly technical. I selected this route because the south face is a difficult rock wall. Sherpas Pemba Cherin (58) and Suba Maju (55) were also part of our team. Pokharkan is northeast of Annapurna near the Tibetan border at latitude N24°48', longitude E84°13'. It is one of 103 new peaks that the government of Nepal opened to climbing in 2002.

We left Kathmandu on October 10, via Besidsal and Naru Khola, and set up base camp at 4,850m, north of Nagoru (4,500m), on October 19. From BC, we followed a moraine up a gentle ridge, and set up C1 at 5,360m, two days later. One week later, we set up C2 on a ridge at 5,700m, with the summit hidden from view. On October 30, we established C3 above a steep snow face, at 6,050m. The next day, Panima Lama and I reached the main summit, at 6,346m. The summit is really two peaks 100m apart, which are about the same height. So we climbed up a steep gully to the top of the left peak first, and then climbed the right peak too. We departed from base camp on November 3, and returned to Kathmandu via Thorang La and Pokhara, arriving on November 11.

Koichi KatO, Japan (translated by Tamotsu Nakamura)

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