Asia, Nepal, Jannu
Jannu. Our team of the Basque Mountain Federation consisted of Angel María Abrego, leader, Iñaki Aldaia, Xabier Muru, Patxi Senosiain, Josema Casimiro and me as doctor. We had two high-altitude Sherpas, Ang Kami and Ang Nima. We established Base Camp at the usual site at 14,600 feet on March 27. Camps I to VI were established at 15,750, 17,725, 19,350, 21,000, 22,650 and 23,950 feet on March 30, April 1, 9, 22, 27 and May 4 respectively. We followed the 1962 French first-ascent route (followed by the Japanese in 1974) except between Camps I and III. The French climbed the whole rock ridge west of the glacier from Camp I. We continued up the glacier to Camp II. Above Camp II we climbed a couloir to the rock ridge, which we followed to come out on the glacier above the icefall. The latter, which had been ascended by the Japanese, was impassable because of huge crevasses. We had one accident but without serious consequences. At four A.M. on April 19 an avalanche, caused by the breaking of a sérac on the “Tête du Butoir” (“Head of the Railroad Buffer”), swept through and leveled Camp III. The two in the camp were unharmed. All the Basques and the two high-altitude Sherpas reached the summit (7710 meters, 25,295 feet) in a single attack, having been forced by the weather to join the two summit teams into one. The weather was not good and it snowed almost every day. We fixed 6500 feet of rope, principally on the “Tête du Butoir” and the “Arête de la Dentelle” (“Lacework Ridge”) and the snowfield that joined Camps V and VI. We used 60 ice screws, 30 snow pickets and 10 rock pitons. We used no oxygen but had it in reserve at Base Camp and Camp III in case of a medical emergency.
Xabier Garaioa, M.D., Federación Vasca de Montaña, Spain