American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Nyambo Kinka (6,114m), East Face, Attempt

Asia, China

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Author: Mark Jenkins
  • Climb Year: 2009
  • Publication Year: 2010

During the last week of April and the first week of May, a four-person New Zealand-American team, comprising Lydia Bradey, Kenny Gasch, Penny Goddard, and I, attempted the east face of Nyambo Konka. This beautiful summit lies just south of Minya Konka. During more than a fortnight of humping loads and climbing, we established two camps in the Bawang River Valley due north of Bawang Lake, then a further camp in the east face cirque, and one more on the face itself. We climbed the east face and reached the summit (north) ridge, but it was heavily corniced and too dangerous to allow us to reach the top. Descending, we were caught in two substantial snowstorms, the first dropping a foot of snow, the second, two feet.

Two notes: (1) our Liaison Officer, Lenny/Chen Zheng Lin, purportedly of the Ganzi Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture Mountaineering Association, made our trip almost impossible, throwing up roadblocks at every opportunity. We advise climbers not to use him; (2) after our close calls with excessive snowfall, and the deaths of Jonny Copp, Micah Dash and Wade Johnson in avalanches just a couple miles away, it is clear that climbing in the Daxue Shan should be attempted only in very late fall or very early spring.

Mark Jenkins, AAC

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