American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Kimshung: Southwest Face Attempt

Nepal, Langtang Himal

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Author: Giampaolo Corona
  • Climb Year: 2016
  • Publication Year: 2017

Standing to the east of Langtang Lirung, Kimshung (6,781m) has no recorded ascent. On October 6, François Cazzanelli, Giampaolo Corona, and Emrik Favre arrived at Langtang Lirung base camp (4,300m), on the west back of the glacier of the same name. On the 11th they placed a camp high on the right side of the glacier, at 5,300m, below the southwest face of Kimshung, but did not sleep there. They returned on the 14th, spent the night, and on the 15th made a reconnaissance of their proposed line up the large couloir right of the summit fall line. They climbed the couloir for 600m before descending.

The three men made their first serious attempt on October 21. Leaving camp early, they climbed for 15 hours to reach an altitude of 6,580m, a little short of the south-southeast ridge, where they were stopped by winds in excess of 70 km/hour. To that point they had belayed 12 hard ice pitches at an overall grade of TD+ (AI4/5).

Favre, a guide, had commitments to accompany a trekking group and left on the 25th, but the remaining two returned to their high camp on October 30 and prepared for a second attempt. At 5:30 a.m. on the 31st, at a height of 6,000m, a stone hit Cazzanelli on the right arm, producing a large, deep cut. Corona helped his partner descend by rappel, and the two reached camp quite fast. At 9 a.m. a helicopter rescued Cazzanelli and took him to hospital, where he stayed for the next seven days. He flew home on November 7, with Corona following a day later.

Giampaolo Corona, Italy, and Rodolphe Popier, The Himalayan Database, France

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