The first ascent of Mt. CROWN

in 1993

 

CROWN Expedition Japanese Alpine Club-TOKAI Branch

 

 The name of mountain we ascended is CROWN", it is located about 40 km north west of M 1, K 2 in Karakourm. It is 7,295 m high above sea level and 3 rd highest unclaimed mountain in the world.

The first group (6 members) of this expedition arrived in Kashger on 19th May 1993, we received here all our equipments and provisions delivered from Japan and bought some vegetable we needed.

 The first caravan started from Mazer Dara with 52 camels on 23 May along the Yarkand liver and we reached the Shaksgam river through the Agirl pass (4,780 m) on 26 May. We proceeded the caravan along the Shaksgam river, crossing over the river several times, and finally arrived at the end of Crevasse Glacier which is the biggest glacier in China. on 29 May. Base camp was established here at the height of 4,100 m on 29 May. It was located on the side moraine at the right side of the Crevasse Glacier. From 30 May, we started finding route to Advance base camp upwards. The route from base camp to advance base camp (ABC), 4,400 m height, is on the left side moraine of Crevasse Glacier through the deposit camp (4,300 m). We set up ABC at the entrance of 4th runse of CROWN on 1 June. The second group departed from Japan on 27 May join at BC on 7 June. The rest of members, H. Sakai who is chief climbing leader in the team, joined at ABC on 17 June.

 On 11 June, we set up the Camp 1 in front of the big front wall of the Crown at the height of 5,100 m on the moraine. The route from ABC to C 1 was on the side moraine of 4th runse, we fixed 3 ropes on the steep rock wall at the height of 4,400 m for the convenience of descent. In order to avoid an avalanche from icefall which is lower part of the east face, we made a detour to the south east face. We fixed 23 ropes from C 1 to C 2. C 2 (5,800 m) was set up on 21 June on the end of south east ridge. C 2 was covered around with deep snow and the route from C 1 to C 2 was steep snow slope. And there, we traversed to east face along the rock band, it was very steep slope covered with deep snow. This route was so delicate because of the risk of avalanche from the east face. We fixed 20 ropes from C 2 to C 3. At first, we had a plan to make C 3 at the height of around 6,500 m and final camp at the height of 7,000 m at the east face, but East face was too steep to make a apace for stay, finally we gave up setting up the camp at the east face, since we had to set up Camp 3 (final camp) at the height of 6,300 m where it is about 800 m lower than our expectation. We had to dig snow all day to make a space for camp at the point of fifth ridge from the south east ridge. C 3 was set up to keep hanging out the edge of tent to the open space on 14 July.

 East face was mixed with rock and ice wall which is covered thin snow and it had a most steep slope in our route, it was almost between 60 and 80 degrees. The most difficult part of this route was called The exit of funnel", at which all snowslide from the upper part of east face was gathered. We set 7 m wire ladder on this part on 17 July. 28 fixed rope was established on the east face to the foot of the summit at the height of about 7,100 m on 21 July. The first assault party, Tokushima, Yamasaki and Aritomi started from C 3 at 230 a.m. on 22 July, they reached at the end of the fixed rope at 700 a.m. and there they extended the route another 4 pitches. They finally reached the summit at 256 p.m. under cloudy weather. They descend the C 2 on the same day. The total of fixed rope was 32 pitches from final camp to the summit.

 After 3 days bad weather, the second assault party, Sakai, Abe, Suzuki and Nakagawa started from C 3 at 230 a.m. under fine weather and reached the summit at 905 a.m. on 27 July. The third assault party, Kameda, Nakashima, Miyasaka and Sasamori reached the summit on 28 July and the final assault party, Natsume, Matsuoka and Hasegawa also reached the summit on 29 July. They also started from C 3 at early morning and descend the C 2 on the same day. Our all members finally could reached the summit through the new route at the east face.

 We carried out fixed ropes as much as we could, especially we took out all between C 1 and C 2. On 31 July, we evacuated C 1 and moved down to ABC. We returned to Sugket Jnagal on 6 August, which is Base Camp for cooperator of Chinese and for Base Camp of Mt. K 2. We stayed 10 days waiting for camels for caravan and started return marching on 15 August. After 10 days, we finally returned in Kashger on 24 August.

Japanese Members

 Expedition leader Kazuo Tokushimaage 48)

 Chief climbing leader Hideki Sakaiage 32)

 Climbing leader (Manager) Tetsuya Abeage 30)

 Climbing leader (Tactics) Tetsuya Abeage 28)

 Climbing leader (Tactics) Masanori Nakashimaage 28)

 Preparatory leader Mikio Suzukiage 26)

 Climbing Member (Transportation) Akito Yamazakiage 26)

 Climbing Member (Accountant) Masanori Natsumeage 25)

 Climbing Member (Food) Hitoshi Miyasakiage 24)

 Climbing Member (Equipment) Kunihito Nakagawaage 24)

 Climbing Member (Equipment) Yasuyuki Aritomiage 24)

 Climbing Member (Health) Shinya Sasamoriage 22)

 Climbing Member (Document) Kiyoshi Matsuokaage 21)

 Climbing Member (Food) Tetsuya Hasegawaage 21)