The First Ascent of Himlung Himal
Himlung Himal Expedition 1992
Academic Alpine Club of Hokkaido
On September 5 of 1992, most members of our term arrived in Kathmandu. We had a permission to scale Himlung Himal from its west side in autumn season. The main group left Kathmandu on 12 th for the approach march along Marsyangdi river. When we approached to Manang district, the path from Kodo to Meta was unable to go through since some of bridges over Nar Khola had fallen. Consequently, we had to access upper Nar Khola across Kang La from Ngawal to Nar (see map on page 11).
Passing by two interesting Tibetan villages of Nar and Phu, we established Base Camp at the height of 4,850 meters on September 25. It was located at the upper border of one of pastures belonged to Phu (see map on page 38). Yaks, goats, sheep, herdsmen, and lamas of Tashi-gompa of Phu visited us everyday, while we stayed there.
From September 26, we started finding routes and setting advanced camps upwards. On the first day, Hanai and Koizumi made reconnaissance up to the height of 5,620 meters and determined the site of Camp 1. The route from base camp was on a moraine up to 5 200 meters where a deposit camp was established later. From there, the route was taken on a stable glacier covered with snow. We set up Camp 1 at the height of 5,450 meters on the glacier on September 27.
We made a detour through a small icefall just above Camp 1 and reached an upper snow plateau. Then we took a route on a snow slope to the northwest ridge. We fixed ropes for 200 meters at the steep slope for the convenience of descent. Meanwhile some porters carried luggage up to the deposit and Camp 1. A part of members, Kizaki, Sato and Nagoshi left Base Camp on September 29, for their trekking journey to Pokhara via Thorung La and Kali Gandaki.
On October 1, Hanai, Koizumi and Nima sherpa left Base Camp and set up Camp 2 at 6 000 meters on the northwest ridge. The route around Camp 2 was significantly wide and gentle slope covered with deep snow. They went along the snow ridge without any difficulty on the next day and set up Camp 3 at 6,250 meters at the foot of the slope to the summit. They left Camp 3 at 6・00 a.m. on October 3 and climbed on snow slope to the summit. Koizumi and Nima reached the summit at 10・45 a.m. They descended to Base Camp on the same day. Hanai felt so chilly at his toes on his way up to the summit because it blew very cold wind on that morning, he returned to Camp 3. After making some treatment, he started again and reached the summit at 13・35. The weather was fine on that day, and they took pictures of surrounding high peaks.
The second assault party of Shimizu, Higuchi, Saito and Danu Sherpa set out Camp 2 on October 4 and stayed that night at Camp 3. Whereas they tried to make ascent on the next day, they had to stay at Camp 3 due to bad weather. Saito descended alone to Base Camp because of high altitude sickness on that day. The rest of the party climbed up to the summit on October 6. They arrived at summit at 11・15 a.m. and descended to Camp 2. The final trial for the summit was made on October 7 by Ishibashi and Phuri sherpa. Although they set out Camp 3 on that morning, eventually they had to quit up ascending because Ishibashi had not acclimatized well and felt weary to go forward.
On October 7, members and sherpas on higher camps carried all gear and food down to Base Camp. We evacuated Base Camp on October 9 and moved down to a temporary residence of Phu named Pangari Kharka. We stayed there waiting for porters for two days and started return marching on October 12. Since the fallen bridges between Meta and Kodo were not repaired yet at that time, we made some donation for the reconstruction project and took the same route as forward journey crossing Kang La. Finally we returned in Kathmandu on October 21.
Yukio Niwa (Leader)
Osamu Hanai (Climbing leader)
Yeuddha Bahadur Gharti
Ang Phuri Sherpa
High altitude porters
Ang Nima Sherpa