The First successful ascent to the Twins: Mt. Gimmigela

by the Tokyo University of Agriculture Alpine Club

Taroh TANIGAWA


Summary of Expedition

 

 On October 7, 1995, we came upon an old piton and karabiner on a mountain ridge 7,000 meters high on our way to the summit. It had been left there, spiked into the rocky ridge and swinging in the wind, by the Tokyo University of Agriculture Alpine Club Expedition 1963 thirty-two years ago on their way to the attack camp. It was as if it were cheering us on in this attempt to successfully reach the summit of the Twins for the first time.

 After thirty-two years, the Tokyo University of Agriculture Alpine Club (TUAAC) had organized another expedition, this time with the Nepal Police Mountaineering and Adventure Foundation (NPMAF), to finally conquer the Twins. Over the years, the route to Pangpema has become increasingly easier to walk in, but thirty years ago, this Nepal-Sikkim border region was still in the realm of the unknown.

 Our club members had been waiting impatiently for obtaining the Twins' climbing permission. We yearned to conquer the summit no climber had yet reached. For those expedition members who had climbed a number of peaks over 8,000 meters, the Twins did not present an overwhelming challenge. Its shape, however, was so beautiful and, at the same time, awesome that the prospect was exciting.

 From the British Expedition of 1899, the Twins has resisted all efforts to climb her・・the International Expedition in 1930, the German Expedition in 1936, and the Swiss Expedition in 1937. Our joint expedition decided to follow the same route that our 1963 Expedition had attempted. We approached from Cross Glacier just to the east of Cross Peak (6,510m) on the north-western side of the Twins. We set up Camp 1 at a point 5,600m high, and from there we headed for the Twins Col.

 Since there was a good chance of meeting an avalanche if we climbed the runse, we took the rocky wall which was closer to Cross Peak. But we had to take the runse for the second half of the route, after which we climbed up to a col. From there we could reach the wide plateau which was our approach to the western ridge.

 Six days after we had constructed Camp 1, we constructed Camp 2 at a point 6,000m high. A week after that, we had set up Camp 3, 700m above Camp 2. It was around these camps that we came upon the karabiner left by the 1963 Expedition and collected it.

 It took 31 pitches from Camp 3 to the summit. Because the snow conditions over the rocky peak in front of the summit were very poor, we were most tense as we approached the peak from the west side.

 On October 16 at 1120 a.m. we attacked the summit from Camp 3 and successfully conquered the summit of the Twins (7,350m). The attack team consisted of Tanigawa, Nagakubo, Yoshida, two Nepalese policemen and six Sherpas. We set up Camp 4 on a snowy ridge located about 4 pitches down the summit because we wanted to search for the member of the 1993 Expedition who had disappeared in a hidden crevasse just below the summit while trying to reach the summit from the Sikkim side.

On October 17 our second team (Ogasawara, Kobayashi, Numano, Hirose and two Sherpas) successfully reached the summit. Because of deep snow and the whiteout conditions that set in the day after we'd reached the summit, we had to abandon our search for the missing member of the 1993 Expedition.

 

The Member of Mt. Gimmigela Joint Expedition 1995 by Tokyo

University of Agriculture Alpine Club and Nepal Police

General Leader

           Yasunari Yamashita (56)

Climbing Members

           Iwao Ogasawara (42)

           Hitoshi Motoyoshi (42)

           Shinji Kobayashi (38)

           Hideo Koike (36)

           Yukimasa Numano (30)

           Taroh Tanigawa (28)

           Koji Nagakubo (26)

           Kenta Hirose (25)

           Yuichi Yoshida (24)

Team Leader

           Gupta Bahadur Rana

Climbing Members

           Sel Bahadur Karki

           Gita Bahadur Joshi

           Ram Kaji Siwakot

           Santa Bahadur Ale