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Asia, Nepal, Kangchenjunga Region, Janak Himal, Janak (Outlier Peak) (7,044m), Attempt

Janak (Outlier Peak) (7,044m), attempt. In November two members of a Romanian team led by Constantine Lacatusu were the first to climb on to Janak above the upper plateau of the Broken Glacier. This summit west of Jongsang was referred to as Outlier Peak by climber-explorers of the early 20th century. Their plan was to scale this peak north-northwest of Kangchenjunga on Nepal’s border with Tibet via its southwest ridge, but they managed to get no farther than a rock tower close to the bottom of the ridge.

On 11 November, three weeks after having established their base camp at 4,800m, Lacatusu and his climbing partner Ioan Torek made their bid to reach the summit from their third high camp at 6,200m. They climbed all day 300 meters up the right side of the tower and then gave up this line: they were now in a serac area with powder snow and impossible to fix with rope, so they returned to camp. The next day they attempted the tower’s left side, moved up beneath overhanging seracs, and reached 6,400m only to find again impossible powder snow. They abandoned the climb.

Lacatusu summarized their attempt: “the first part of Janak was technical, and we climbed that, but the second half was dangerous and we didn’t climb that.” The technical part was “very nice” and he and Torek “would like to come back and finish what we started.” Next time they would have more manpower and more rope to fix.

Elizabeth Hawley, AAC Honorary Member, Nepal