Janhkuth, west face attempt. The main goal of the expedition was to ...

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Janhkuth, west face attempt. The m ain goal o f the expedition was to m ake the first ascent o f a 6,805m peak known as Janhkuth, n orth west o f Chaukham ba. Only one other party has attem pt­ ed to climb this m ountain: the Austrians, Josef Jochler, and Christian Zenz, in 2002. Their attem pt was stymied by inclem ent w eather to such an extent that the climbers barely left Base Camp. Like Jochler and Zenz’s attem pt, o u r expedition proved unsuccessful in attaining the sum m it. After establishing base cam p at S udenban (4,535m ) on the lateral m orain e o f the G angotri Glacier, M alcolm Bass (UK), M arty Beare (N Z), Andy Brown (UK), Pat Deavoll (NZ) and Paul Figg (UK) used five porters to help place a “d u m p cam p” at 4,635m. They then ferried loads to an Advanced C am p (5,000m ) at the base o f the M aiandi Bamak. For this th eir snow shoes proved invaluable. By S eptem ber 27 the New Z ealand couple had three weeks food at Advanced Cam p, while the three British, o pting for a “lighter-loads, m ore-m ileage” approach, took until O ctober 4, though d u rin g this tim e all the clim bers reached a C am p 1 at 5,230m on the M aiandi Bamak below the West Face o f Janhkuth. After a spell o f heavy snow fall, Beare and Deavoll started up th e central couloir on the west face at m idnight on O cto b er 6. They clim bed for 12 h o u rs up 45° deep snow to cam p at 5,700m. Next m orning they continued up steeper ground, including two pitches o f 80° ice, and after an o th er 12 o r m ore h o u rs reached the crest o f the South Ridge at 6,400m . T h at night Deavoll developed a bad headache. In addition a big electrical storm hit the m o u n tain , though the heavy snowfall was at lower altitudes. Next m orn in g Beare reached 6,500m on a horizontal section o f the ridge leading to mixed g ro u n d beneath the sum m it and then retu rn ed to camp. He estim ated an o th er tw o days w ould p robably be required to reach the top. U nfortunately, Deavoll continued to deteriorate and by evening was vomiting. The following m orning was cold and w ith Deavoll clearly very ill th e p air had no o p tio n b u t to descend (10 rappels from Abalakovs, then dow n-clim bing). M eantw hile at 10pm on the 6th, Bass, Brown and Figg left C am p 1 and clim bed mixed ground up a buttress line to the right o f the central couloir, reaching a p o in t roughly level w ith the first New Zealand cam p (ca 5,700m). The storm during the evening o f the 7th deposited far m ore snow at this altitude an d at m id n ig h t they decided to descend before retreat becam e im possible due to building avalanche danger. By the 10th heavy snowfall and cold tem peratures had arrived and it was obvious further clim bing was o u t o f the questio n . The team had a difficult tim e strip p in g th eir cam ps and breaking a trail dow n to Tapovan so th a t p o rters could reach base cam p b u t by the 18th they had m ade it safely to the road at G angotri. M arty Beare, New Zealand, and M alcolm Bass, United Kingdom

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