Meru Central (Shark’s Fin), east face, attempt. The Korea Meru Peak Expedition comprised Kim Sae-jung and Cho U-ryeong from the Extreme Leader Alpine Club, Lee Sang-woo and Jang Seon-tae from the Bong-ahm Alpine Club, and Park Young-sik from the Gyeong-hee University Alpine Club. The team arrived at Tapovan base camp on August 8 to open a new route on the east face of Meru Central (6,320m), commonly referred to as the Shark’s Fin. On August 11 they established advanced base at 4,300m and then took roughly five days to fix 500m of rope to Camp 1 at 5,400m. They continued fixing rope and after 15-days reached a high point of 5,800m, at the base of the rock wall forming the Fin. Rockfall during the day forced them to climb and ferry gear at night, until the small hours of the morning. Just preparing to start climbing on the Fin took 30 days.
On September 9 they began climbing the main rock wall, but the weather deteriorated. Over the next three days, despite consistently poor weather and high difficulties, they reached 6,000m but shortly after decided to abandon the route. They began a perilous descent in atrocious conditions. As their sole concern was self-preservation, they abandoned the majority of the gear and fixed line. Their equipment remains fixed on Meru Peak, as trials of the Shark’s Fin does on their minds.
Lee Young-jun, Korea (translated by Peter Jensen-Choi)