American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Asia, Tibet, Himalaya, Ngozumpa Kang II, West Face, Bearzi Death

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

Ngozumpa Kang II, west face, Bearzi death. Two Americans, Mike Bearzi and Bruce Miller, planned to make the first attempt on the northeast face of 7,952m (26,089') Gyachung Kang, which is on the Tibetan border between Cho Oyu and Everest. But before attacking this nearly 8,000m mountain, they did some acclimatization climbs on several peaks in Tibet very close to it. On the last of these, the two men summited Ngozumpa Kang II, 7,646m (25,085'), via its west face on May 9. As they were descending in the late afternoon, Bearzi was slowing down noticeably. At about 7:00 p.m., when Miller could see their bivouac below at 7,000m, Bearzi, who was behind him, fell at a steep place and couldn’t stop himself. His death-fall ended 600m (1,900') down on the glacier west of their route. (See “An Optimistic Plan” earlier in this Journal for the story.)

Elizabeth Hawley, Nepal

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