Himalayan Journal vol.35
The Himalayan Journal
Vol.35

Publication year:
1979

Editor:
Soli S. Mehta
Index
  1. EDITORIAL
  2. THE STORY OF THE HIMALAYAN CLUB, 1928-1978
    (JOHN MARTYN)
  3. FIFTY YEARS RETROSPECT AND PROSPECT
    (TREVOR BRAHAM)
  4. THE PASSANRAM AND TALUNG VALLEYS, SIKKIM
    (DR EUGEN ALLWEIN)
  5. NANDA DEVI AND THE SOURCES OF THE GANGES
    (H. W. TILMAN)
  6. THE MOUNT EVEREST RECONNAISSANCE, 1935
    (ERIC SHIPTON)
  7. THE SHAKSGAM EXPEDITION, 1937
    (MICHAEL SPENDER)
  8. GANGOTRI TRIANGULATION
    (Major GORDON OSMASTON)
  9. EVEREST, 1976
    (MAJOR M. W. H. DAY, R.E.)
  10. LHOTSE, 1976
    (KANJI KAMEI)
  11. THE SECOND ASCENT OF LHOTSE, 1977
    (DR HERMANN WARTH)
  12. MAKALU, 1976
    (ANDERS BOUNDER & OTHERS)
  13. THE CLEAN-UP TREK, 1976
    (MICHAEL CORDELL)
  14. THE THIRD KOREAN MANASLU EXPEDITION, 1976
    (JUNG SUP KIM)
  15. THE HONGKONG KANJIROBA EXPEDITION, 1976
    (DICK ISHERWOOD)
  16. AVALANCHE ON SISNE, 1977
    (R. A. L. ANDERSON)
  17. DHAULAGIRI IV, 1975
    (KUNIAKI YAGIHARA)
  18. NORTH SIKKIM, 1976
    (HARISH KAPADIA)
  19. NANDA DEVI FROM THE NORTH, 1976
    (H. ADAMS CARTER)
  20. NANDA DEVI SANCTUARY - A NATURALIST'S REPORT
    (LAVKUMAR KHACHER)
  21. A BOTANICAL SURVEY IN THE NANDA DEVI SANCTUARY, 1974
    (N. C. SHAH)
  22. AN ATTEMPT ON NITALTHAUR, 1974
    (MANIK BANERJEE)
  23. CHAMRAO GLACIER EXPEDITION-1977
    (M. DEY)
  24. CHIRING WE, 1977
    (HARISH KAPADIA)
  25. KINNAUR-1976
    (LIEUTENANT-COLONEL BALWANT SANDHU)
  26. BLACK PEAK, 1976
    (MANDIP SINGH SOIN)
  27. NILAMBAR EXPEDITION, 1977
    (RANVIR SINGH)
  28. POLISH K2 EXPEDITION, 1976
    (JANUSZ KURCZAB)
  29. A CRAWL DOWN THE OGRE
    (DOUG SCOTT)
  30. ISTOR-O-NAL NORTH I, 1976
    (RONALD NAAR)
  31. THE ASCENT OF SHERPI KANGRP 1976
    (PROF. KAZUMASA HIRAI)
  32. AFGHAN DARWAZ, 1975
    (RYSSZARD W. SCHRAMM)
  33. SWISS THUI EXPEDITION, 1975
    (DR ADOLF DIEMBERGER and HANS SCHIBLI)
  34. CLIMBING SHERPAS OF DARJEELING
    (DORJEE LHATOO)
  35. OF MOUNTAINS & MEMORIES
    (SITU MULLICK)
  36. EXPEDITIONS AND NOTES
  37. OBITUARIES
  38. BOOK REVIEWS
  39. LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
  40. CLUB PROCEEDINGS, 1976
  41. EXPEDITIONS 1975-1977

DHAULAGIRI IV, 1975

KUNIAKI YAGIHARA

The Post-monsoon Expedition of Kamoshika Coterie (Tokyo)

(Translated by Mrs Hoshie Nakazawa)

BY 19 August we had assembled at Bokhara and we commenced our walk to Base Camp via Kusma - Beni - Dharbang -- Muri - Bogara. We had agreed with the leader of the porters for n set time and payment for twelve days to reach B.C. Eventually we reached Base in fourteen days (delayed by a porters' strike) on 1 September.

On 3 September Camp 1 (4850 m) was constructed in the same place as that of the three expeditions before us. The route ahead also followed that of previous attempts and Camp 2 (5150 m) was constructed under a huge rock shaped like a shoe (Shoe Rock) and camp 3 (5800m) further up the ridge in the snow, on 15 September.

The next two days were occupied in making the route through it a steep snow-wall and a sharp snow-ridge to Myagdi Matha There was relatively less snow than in the spring but the steep slope to Myagdi Matha proved more tough to ascend at this time of the year. All members carried loads to Myagdi Matha for the next ten days in order to acclimatize, after which a descent to Base was organised to recuperate. Camp 4 (6200m) was 150m lower than Myagdi Matha on a knife-edge ridge. A two-day spell of bad weather stopped all activity, after which we were blessed with fine weather and the descent into the Konabon glacier could be easily achieved where Camps 5 (5400m) and 6 (5350m) were established. The next camp was constructed at 6000m on the upper Konabon glacier by the most direct route through an icefall.

To get on to the west col some 650 m of rope had to be fixed on the now-wall which led to it. The col itself was large but constantly swept by strong winds from the north. Camp 8 '(6900 m) was established on the col where the Japanese expedition earlier that year had been blown away. The final Camp 9 was set up further up the ridge at a height of 7100 m on 18 October.

19 October, - Two members on the summit
We got up at three o'clock in the morning. It didn't seem that the strong wind would stop. Three members, leader Kazu- yuki takahashi, deputy leader Yoshiteru Takahashi, and I had no apitite, because we had climbed from Camp 7, which was at 6000 m, to Camp 8, then from Camp 8 to Camp 9 spending only one day at each without acclimatizing ourselves to the altitude. The three of us left Camp 9 (7100m) at 5.30 a.m. We walked along a 100 m rope which was fixed the day before, and after that we carefully climbed a sharp ridge. The surface of the snow was crusted, and it cracked each time we stepped on it. It was more difficult to climb than hard snow, and we were obliged to take much time. The strong wind had been blowing, but the ridge was too sharp and narrow to avoid the wind and to take a rest.

A little before we reached the steep craggy cliff, I became very, tired and the climbing speed slowed down. I decided to go bar to Camp 9 while the two other members, Kazuyuki Takahashi an Yoshiteru Takahashi, continued to ascend.

The two members climbed over the rock pitch and reached a ridge which led to the top. The slope was getting gentle and at the same time the south side opened out. Consequently they paid all their attention to the snow eaves of the north-west side. The evening sun was seting beyond Kaphe Khola, and the full moon was rising above Dhaulagiri I. As all the walkie-talkies were switched on, they could conduct a conversation with the members without delay. After they passed several humps which seemed 'the summit', the snow ridge turned to the right. Then there were no places higher than the spot where they were standing. It was 7.35 p.m. The north side of the top was a precipitous straight cliff. It measured about fifteen metres across east to west.

They shook hands and then wedged into the snow a stake with all the members' names written on it. The moonlight wasn't enough to take photographs. Their stay on the top was about twenty minutes.

It was difficult and hard to go down a steep snow-ridge in a wind blowing violently. Kazuyuki Takahashi had left his sun glasses behind at Camp 9 by mistake. He had to do without them for a whole day and couldn't avoid getting snow-blind. They slipped once or twice but didn't have much trouble. A four-hour descent brought them safely to Camp 9. It was just midnight.

All this time I was at Camp 9 without a walkie-talkie, as it was carried by the two members to the top. So I had no means of knowing of the success and had gone to sleep wondering "Have they bivouacked or have they fallen?"

The two summiters who got back to Camp 9 informed all the camps of their safe arrival at Camp 9 which set all the members at ease. They had finished their effort which had lasted almost nighteen hours.

The Second, Summit Party-Six Members - 20 October

By this time I had acclimatized and joined a party which had come up to Camp 9 from Camp 8. The members were Morozumi, Kobayashi, Negishi, Suda, and Ogura. We left Camp 9 at 7.00. We divided ourselves into two ropes of three members each. The two parties always kept close to each other, and all of us proceeded together. We could climb the snow-ridge continuously at a good pace following the trail which was left by the two summiters of the previous day. This is why it took us such a remarkably short time to reach the top.

The weather was fine except for the usual strong wind. At 11.50 a.m. all six of us set foot on the peak. It was seven hours from camp 8 to the top, or five hours from Camp 9 to the top.

The stake which was fixed the day before was found, which proved the success of the first team. We were rewarded by the magnificent view. The mountain range of Annapurna could be seen far away Dhaulagiri I shot into the blue. Dhaulagiri V, III and II stood in a row. We stayed there for about one hour and retraced our steps downwards. At Camp 8 we were all feeling fatigued but five of the members managed to get down to Camp 7. Only I remained at Camp 8 to make arrangements for the third attack. Four members, including myself, were at Camp 8.

The Third Summit Team - Three members - 21 October
Miyazaki, Nakamura and Komatsu left Camp 8 at 5.GO a.m. They reached the peak at 11.50 a.m., the same time as the second party, and got down to Camp 7.

This day Dr Michiko Takahashi, was is the Leader's wife, Sirdar Mingma Tenzing and his elder brother Purba Tenzing climbed up to Camp 8 for the fourth summit attempt. But on 22 October the weather broke and at the same time the food and equipment began to run short. We decided to give up further effort.

Thus, eleven members reached the top in three attempts on three consecutive days.

We could now review the causes of our success. On carefully studying the records of previous attempts from the South we found that the two Japanese parties which had tried to climb in the spring had progressed far less in terms of height than the Austrian and British parties who had made their attempts in the autumn. The difference was of course due to the snow and weather conditions rather than that of skill and strength.

Now that we have succeeded, we would assert more categorically that an attempt on Dhaula IV from the South must be carried out in the post-monsoon period, but early enough to avoid the bitter north winds of winter. This means that the initial part of the expedition must start during the monsoon itself. We had relatively little snowfall in October from Camp 4 onwards, but we did have to have patience with rain and sleet till Camp 2.

Our relationship with Sherpas was excellent and we involved the Sirdar in drawing up the logistic programme and the rota for load-carrying of the individuals. All route-finding was done by the members and the load-carrying of all members to Cam]) 4 not only helped the quick completion of stocking high camps but also helped considerably in acclimatization.

Members :

Kazuyuki Takahashi (leader), Yoshiteru Takahashi (dep. leader) Norio Sasaki, Kousaku Suda, Shouji Nakamura, Kuniaki Yagihar Yuji Asaba, Tsutomu Miyazaki, Yasuo Morozumi, Minoru Kol yashi, Satoru Negishi, Kouzou Komatsu, Shigeto Ogura, M Michiko Takahashi (doctor), Kousaku Sutou, Shoji Tanaka, Itli Bikran Gewari (liaison officer) and Mingma Tenzing (Sher Sirdar).

CLIMBING HISTORY OF DHAULAGIRI IV
1. 1962 Autumn

J. O. M. Roberts reconnoitred Dhaulagiri VI from Kaphe Kli thinking it was Dhaulagiri IV. Dhaulagiri VI was first dim and named by the Japanese Kansai Alpine Club.

2. 1964 Autumn

Two students of Kyoto University, who were the members of Annapurna South Expedition, went to Konabon Khola after their success and found that the way to the glacier was blocked by a vast waterfall.

3. 1965 Autumn

The Royal Air Force Expedition (leader John Sims) couldn't distinguish Dhaulagiri IV from Dhaulagiri VI and tried to climb Dhaulagiri VI.

4. 1967, 1968

The party of Kyushu University searched for an approach to Dhaulagiri IV and finally found it.

5. 1969 Autumn

Austrian Expedition (leader Richard Hoyer) climbed from the Konabon Khola on the south side and reached the west col, which is very close to the peak. But after that the six members, including a Sherpa, comprising the summit team were lost with no trace (see H.J. Vol. XXXI, 1971, p. 153 and p. 157).

6. 1969 Autumn

The members of Kansai Alpine Club made an attempt from Konabon Khola up to the altitude of 5100m proceeding along south-east ridge of Gurja Himal. On their way back, they met the Austrian Expedition, which is mentioned above.

7. 1970 Spring

Kansai Alpine Expedition (leader Tetsuya Nomura) made a first ascent of Dhaulagiri VI from Kaphe Khola and then proceeded to Dhulagiri IV. But the route was too long (see H.J. Vol. XXX, 1970, P 141).

8. 1970 Autumn

Fukuoka Alpine Club Expedition (leader Michihiko Ogata), passing Kaphe Khola, got to Gama Peak (7100 m), which is a little beyond Dhaulagiri VI, but abandoned their attempt to proceed further.

9. 1971 spring

G.H.M.J. Expedition (leader Mitsuhiko Yoshino). Climbing from the konabon Khola on the south side, they reached Myagdi Matha (6273 m) and gave up. A war between India and Pakistan happened to break out at that time, and it caused the delay of their schedule. It was one of the reasons they had to stop climbing.

10. 1971 spring

The party of Gunma Mountaineering Association (leader Fumio Kobayashi) which was organized to reconnoitre Dhaulagiri IV,

climbed to the altitude of 5100 m with the help of GHMJ Expedition.

11. 1972 Spring

Gunma Mountaineering Association (leader Kazuo Hamana) climbed from Konabon Khola from the south side. They got to the glacier through Myagdi Matha. When one of the members- died of mountain sickness, they decided to abandon further activity.

12. 1972 -Autumn

Japan Rock Climbing Expedition (leader Akinobu Otsu) were the third party which could reach the peak of Dhaulagiri VI, but were obliged to abandon climbing Dhaulagiri IV.

13. 1973 Spring

Austrian Expedition (leader Franz Huber). Getting over the Chorten Ridge on the north side, they could reach the col to the east of Dhaulagiri IV.

14. 1973 Autumn

British Expedition (leader Anthony Johnson) took a route through Konabon Khola on the south side and challenged the extended ridge directly from the upper glacier to the top. After that they made a second unsuccessful attempt from west col.

15. 1974 Spring

British Expedition (leader R. Bird) made an attempt from the Chorten Ridge on the north side.

16. 1975 Spring

Osaka Alpine Club Expedition (leader Tetsuya.Nomura). Climbing from Kaphe Khola, they got to the ridge which conned Churen Himal and Dhaulagiri IV. Two members could reach the summit past the west col. But on their way back they fell down to the Konabon glacier and were lost.


Dhaulagiri IV Camp 4. The West col is on the left.

Dhaulagiri IV Camp 4. The West col is on the left.



Camp 8 on the West col with Dhaula IV summit in the background.

Camp 8 on the West col with Dhaula IV summit in the background.