Himalayan Journal vol.49
The Himalayan Journal
Vol.49

Publication year:
1993

Editor:
Harish Kapadia
Index
  1. THE PSYCHOLOGICAL UTILITY OF MOUNTAINEERING*
    (JOHN THACKRAY)
  2. BASINGTHANG PEAKS - EXPLORING IN THE HIDDEN KINGDOM*
    (PETER MOULD)
  3. DORJE LHAKPA, 1992
    (CARLOS BUHLER)
  4. BIG BIRD FLAPPING WINGS
    (DR. ANDREW POLLARD)
  5. KUSUM KANGURU, 1991
    (STEPHEN VENABLES)
  6. PUTHA HIUNCHULI
    (ANDREW KERR)
  7. EVEREST SOLO
    (JONATHAN PRATT)
  8. THE WORKMANS : TRAVELLERS EXTRAORDINARY*
    (MICHAEL PLINT)
  9. FIRES ON THE MOUNTAIN Ascents in the Panch Chuli Group
    (HARISH KAPADIA)
  10. RAJRAMBHA AND PANCH CHULI V
    (A. V. SAUNDERS)
  11. AROUND DANU DHURA
    (DIVYESH MUNI)
  12. MANA NORTWEST EXPEDITION, 1992
    (ARUN SAMANT)
  13. A DAWDLE IN THE DIBI
    (ALOKE SURIN)
  14. INDIAN EVEREST EXPEDITION: NORTH FACE, 1991
    (Group Captain A. K. BHATTACHARYYA)
  15. MONGOLIA - THE GREAT ESCAPE
    (LINDSAY GRIFFIN)
  16. THE CLIMBING PARTNER - THE OTHER EXPERIENCE IN THE HIMALAYA
    (CHAMPAK CHATTERJI)
  17. HIMALAYAN JOURNAL VOLUME II (1930)
    (AAMIR ALI)
  18. EXPEDITIONS AND NOTES TOWARDS GORICHEN
  19. A SECRET MOUNTAIN Haj Gyala Peri Expedition 1986
    (YOSHIO OGATA)
  20. ON TOP OF THE WORLD!
    (ERIC SIMONSON)
  21. INDIAN (ITBP) EVEREST EXPEDITION, 1992
    (HUKAM SINGH)
  22. TWO SPANISH CLIMBS
    (FRANCISCO SONA CIRUJEDA)
  23. SAGARMATHA SOUTHWEST FACE EXPEDITION, 1991-1992
    (YOSHIO OGATA)
  24. SAIPAL, 1992
    (CHUCK EVANS)
  25. ANNAPURNA SOUTH FACE
    (TONE SKARJA)
  26. ITALIAN RANG GURU EXPEDITION, 1991
    (GIANCARLO CONTALBRIGO)
  27. NILKANTH - THE ENIGMA
    (GRAHAM LITTLE)
  28. ASCENT OF CHAUKHAMBA I
    (Col. AMIT C. ROY)
  29. MANA PEAK
    (Capt. S. P. MALIK)
  30. YOGESHWAR, 1992
    (SIMON YEARSLEY)
  31. MATRU EXPEDITION, 1991
    (SWAPAN KUMAR GHOSH)
  32. ACROSS DHUMDHAR KANDI PASS
    (SANJIB KUMAR MITRA)
  33. SAHASTRA TAL
    (SANDEEP DUTT)
  34. TEMPTATIONS OF KEDAR
    (HARISH KAPADIA)
  35. FROM SANGLA TO NETWAR OVER THE RUPIN
    (WILLIAM McKAY AITKEN)
  36. ARUBAL RANG EXPEDITION, 1991
    (APURBA CHAKRABARTI)
  37. KUGTI PASS
    (PRASHANT M. TALE)
  38. KARCHA PARBAT EXPEDITION, 1991
    (SATYAJIT KAR)
  39. MATHO KANGRI, 1992
    (MICHAEL RATTY)
  40. SAM PAKUSH
    (HUBERT BLEICHER)
  41. SHIMSHAL-MALANGUTTI GLACIER EXPEDITION, 1991
    (PAUL HUDSON)
  42. BOOK REVIEWS
  43. IN MEMORIAM
  44. CORRESPONDENCE

A SECRET MOUNTAIN Haj Gyala Peri Expedition 1986

YOSHIO OGATA

Prologue
YARLUNG TSANGPO JIANG (river) takes its source from western Tibet, runs to the east for 1500 km in Tibet plateau. After leaving the plateau it crashes through an immense gorge, beneath the high Himalayan peaks and comes down to the south. Then, this river is called the Brahmaputra in Assam. This was a river in riddle, for this has a very deep gorge which is called 'Great Bend' and nobody could approach it

The Great Bend area has two high peaks, Namcha Barwa (7782 m) to the south and Gyala Peri (7151 m) to the north.

We had deep interest in some peaks in eastern Tibet, and we applied for climbing 'permission for the peaks to the Chinese Mountaineering Association (CMA) since 1983. Gyala Peri is also one mountain of great interest to us.

We, at last, got the permission to climb Gyala Peri through the good offices of CMA and Tibet Mountaineering Association (TMA) and we dispatched a reconnaissance party to the Gyala Peri in 1985.

After one year, our 6 members started for an expedition to the secret mountain by the side of the river in riddle.

Approach
We left Japan on 1 September 1986 with other three HAJ's Tibet expeditions and arrived at Lhasa on the 4th.

On the 8th we left Lhasa in 2 jeeps with a liaison officer, a translator and an assistant liaison officer. We drove about 400 km to the east and arrived at Bayizhen.

On the 9th, we met Yarlung Tsangpo Jiang and proceeded along the river. We crossed a log bridge and we called on the chief officer of Mainling Xian at his office. The chief officer told us that 100 porters were already arranged and a manager would be joining us.

We left Pe for the base camp at Gyala Peri on the 11th. We crossed the river at Pe. We were now introduced to a weird looking craft call a 'tru' which consisted of two conifer dug-outs, each about 12 m long, lashed together. It was a most unwieldy craft, but carried a big cargo. The first day we crossed the river, after which we went along the Tsangpo and arrived at the Susong. It had rained hard in the night.

On the 12th, we marched in a drizzle and the next day in rain. The second day, we camped at the Chube. Chube is the last Tibetan village on the left bank of the Tsangpo.

On the 13th, we marched for 6 hours and came to the piace which is opposite the Gyala village. This place is called Gyala gompa. It is said that Tibetan people make a pilgrimage once in their lives to this gompa. On the 15th, we traversed along the right bank of Gyala Peri river with porters. The current seemed threatening and we judged it would be impossible to cross the river on foot. So we allowed porters to return home and we camped next to the ford. On the next day, however, some porters came with logs to make a bridge. We tied up with them to set a bridge. This bridge is called 'China-Japan friendship bridge.' And then, the place of base camp was decided.

Climbing
Staying in base camp for 2 days, we went scouting for advance base camp (ABC). We climbed on a moraine ridge to the end and decided to set up ABC there at 4200 m.

The unloading began from 22 September. Then we began climbing from the 26th.

On the 26th, 2 team members, Ohta and myself left ABC for route making to C2. As we climbed through the complicated glacier a big avalanche swept the west wall of Gyala Peri. We had a narrow escape. Avalanches occurred many times on the west wall afterwards. We changed our climbing route.

We climbed up on a ridge on the right corner of the west wall. And Cl was set up on a thin snow ridge on 3 October.

We had to climb in deep snow, a pinnacle-like gate, and knife edges. Moreover we climbed on a snow wall which we called 'Zebra Rock'. And at last we set up C2 at 5650 m.

We stood,on the south ridge at 5800 m on the 12th. We could see the flow of1 Yarlung Tsangpo river right beneath. On the south ridge, the steep snow wall seemed to be leading up to the summit. But the bad weather continued.

We could see the blue sky at last on the 16th. Our party began route making for the upper part. We had a hard time marching in the deep snow which reached up to our waists. The route-making party set up C3 at 6300 m on the 19th. Ogata, Ohta and Hasimoto stayed in C3.

The next day, we set up 4 fixed ropes in the blizzard and came back to C2. On 21st, Tobita, Imamura and Fujiwara set up C4 at 6700 m and we were ready for the attack.

Attack
We took a short rest at 3200 m and we were refreshed. Then we began the attack.

The first party which consisted of Ogata, Hashimoto and Imamura left BC for Cl on the 25th. And reached at C4 on the 28th.

The 3 members left at 4:50 a.m. on the 29th. The snow wall was getting steeper and we had to put some fixed-ropes. Then, we gave up the climbing because of the lack of time and got back to C3.

The second party which consisted of Tobita, Ohta and Fujiwara left C4 at 7.10 a.m. on the 29th. But the weather continued to be bad. They, too, had to give up the climbing.

Hashimoto, Imamura and myself were- charged with the attack again. We left C3 at 6.15 a.m. on the 30th. We had a hard time marching in the deep snow, and arrived at the beginning of the summit wall. It was 3 p.m. But we advanced without any hesitation. It took 3 pitches of climbing. Moreover we climbed into a very steep couloir with very acrobatic movements. In all, it took 11 hours for us to reach the summit since we had left C3. We left the summit in the violent wind at 5.15 p.m. and we descended to C3.

We could set foot on the summit due to the last-minute effort. The long climbing concluded on 1 November.

Epilogue
We left precious footprints on a page of the history of eastern Tibet. The "height of the Gyala Peri officially is announced at 7151 m. But we felt it was higher, for we measured it by our altimeter.

Members: Kazuo Tobita (leader), Yoshio Ogata (climbing leader), Takeshi Ohta, Yasuhiro Hashmoto, Hirotaka Imamura, Takuo Fujiwara.

Summary: The Himalayan Association of Japan (HAJ): Gyala Peri expedition 1986, which made the first ascent of Gyala Peri (7151 m) from September to November 1986