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Asia, Nepal, Annapurna Himal, Kutang Himal, Swelokan, South Face and Northwest Ridge Attempts

Swelokan, south face and northwest ridge attempts. A small Japanese team became the first climbers to attempt the remote 6,180m Swelokan, which lies on the Tibet border north-north-east of Manaslu, in what is sometimes referred to as the Kutang Himal. Base camp was established at just over 4,400m in the upper Buru Gandaki, from where Sadmasu Kitagawa and Hiroh Shogo had originally planned to attempt the south face. However, before reaching this point Shogo had been forced to retire by altitude sickness, so Kitagawa made his first attempt with Dorchi Sherpa. On April 27 these two reached only 5,200m, where a rock barrier blocked the glacier up which they were traveling. They moved base camp to the northwest and on May 2 camped at 5,400m on the southwest face. Next day they reached 5,800m on the northwest ridge, only to find the crest above was sharp, with loose rock and fresh snow. They gave up, though they noted that the south face would provide a good route for technical climbers.

Tom Nakamura and the Japanese Alpine News