Gyajikang, Second Ascent and First Complete Ascent of West Ridge
Nepal, Annapurna Himal, Peri Himal
A primarily French commercial expedition led by Paulo Grobel to 7,047m Gyajikang made the second recorded ascent of the mountain, via a partial new route, the West Ridge Integral. The first ascent of the peak was made in October 1994 by a large Japanese-Nepalese expedition (joint leaders Taichi Fujimatsu and Gupta Bahadur Rana), which put no less than 17 people on the summit. The team fixed 1,500m of rope on the northwest spur, which they climbed to reach the west ridge at 6,600m. The summit area was so vast that, according to one Japanese member, it would have been possible to play football.
Grobel’s expedition approached from the south and established base camp at 5,200m, then set up Camp 1 at 5,700m, close to the foot of the west ridge. After passing an initial section of crumbly rock, they established two more camps before reaching the broad but crevassed summit plateau. They crossed the plateau to the highest point, gained on May 2 by Grobel with Maxime Blanc, Yves Exbrayat, Michel Gayton, and Jerome Jarry (all French), and Nicolas Hougardy (Belgian). They fixed the steepest section, 35-40° slopes above Camp 2, with 350m of rope. They estimated the overall grade of this potential Himalayan classic to be IV/PD+
Information provided by Paulo Grobel from his website