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Asia, Tibet, Himalaya, Hungchi, Attempt

Hungchi, attempt. The successful first ascent of Hungchi (7,036m) in April 2003 by Takashi Shiro’s Japanese Osaka Eiho Alpine Club expedition is recorded elsewhere in the Journal. This team climbed from Nepal. However, it appears that an attempt on the mountain was also made from Tibet by Masakatsu Nakamura’s five-member Japanese expedition from the Nagano Prefecture Mountaineering Federation. This team arrived at Everest Base Camp on October 21, and on the 24th established Camp 1 at 5,450m on the Central Rongbuk Glacier. The Japanese climbers then proceeded up the long Western Rongbuk, passing below the Pumori Glacier to the south and establishing intermediate camps at 5,600m, 5650m, Camp 2 at 5,700m, and Camp 3 (Advanced Base) at 5,800m. This took until the beginning of November, after which a reconnaissance was made of Hungchi’s north face. Camp 4 was placed at 6,100m on the left side of the glacier bay below the face and then 650m of rope were fixed to the col on the northwest ridge. Finally, on November 10 Camp 5 was sited on the col at 6,600m.

A summit attempt was made the following day. The party first moved onto the south (Nepalese) flank of the north west ridge before returning to the crest and climbing it to a point about 200m below the summit. Here, they came across a steep wall of snow, which consumed a great deal of time and energy. Above, and in striking distance of the summit, the party found itself too late in the day to continue. They retreated from that point, made no further attempt and left base camp on the 13th.

Tamotsu Nakamura, Japan Alpine News