ITALIAN RANG GURU EXPEDITION, 1991

GIANCARLO CONTALBRIGO

KANG GURU (6981 m) lies to the NE of Annapurna Himal, to the west of Pisang peak, near the Tibetan border. It is placed in an area still closed to tourism and virtually unexplored.

That zone is bounded on the west by the river Nar Phu and On the south by the Marsyangdi river. Between the Kang Guru and the Tibetan border there are a lot of unnamed peaks, about 7000 rn high, not easy and still to be dimbed.

The expedition was mounted, equipped and put into execution by five people who had preceding experiences of alpinism in the Himalaya, K.ir.ikoram or Andes:

Contalbrigo Giancarlo (leader), Bidese Domenico, Dal Santo Imerio, (ililtti Paolo, Pagiusco Fiorenzo.

24 September: We leave Milano.

27th: From Kathmandu to Dumre, 160 km, by bus in 9 hours. 28th: Arrival at Phalesangu (670 m) by truck in 5 hours. 29th: We begin the trip on foot towards the north along the Marsyangdi valley.

2 October: We reached Kodo (2600 m) a village near Chame, where a police station blocks the entrance into the Nar Phu valley, which goes up straight until Tibet, on the west side of Kang Guru.

4th: We established BC at Mera, (3600 m), a deserted village, left after the invasion of Tibet by China in 1959. Now there are still a lot of terrace cultivations. It is situated at the foot of the mountain, at the point where a great ravine strikes up into its west flanks.

7th: After ascending the ravine, at first going up on steep grassy slopes and then on grave! with danger of injury from stones, we established Cl (4900 m) under the big rock barrier which seals off the upper end of the ravine.

11th: Second ferry from BC to Cl.

12th: From Cl we climbed a steep and frozen canal, about 400 m high, very dangerous because of the stones. After a difficult passage through the rock curtain, where we fixed 50 m of rope, we arrived above the rock wall (5300 m). Then we climbed up on moraine until a prominent rock rib between the hanging glaciers. Under that rib, in a very safe place, we sited C2 (5600 m).

13th: Exploration to find the route to C3.

I4th/17th: Rest at BC.

(2Oth: Climbing the glacier with small crevasses, we arrived at the upper side of the west face. We established C3 at 6100 m in a spacious and safe plateau under the NW ridge. The west

spur which joined the W face to the NW ridge protected the place from the wind. We pitched 3 tents: two for us, one for two Sherpas who accompanied us to the summit.

21st: Departure from C3 at 4 o'clock. We climbed the spur consisting of good ice (gradient 40°-45°) for about 400 m and we arrived at the very long and sharpened NW ridge. It ascended to the top by a lesser gradient but with a lot of big cornices. At 10.15 a.m. the summit was reached by G. Contalbrigo, D. Bidese, P. Ghitti, F. Pagiusco and the two Sherpas. It was windy and very cold (-30°).

At 11 a.m. we began a fast descent to C3. We closed the camp and went to C2 where pitched the tents to sleep.

22nd: Arrival at BC. 24th: Departure from BC. 30th: Arrival at Kathmandu.

This was the first Italian ascent of the peak and the fourth ascent of the peak.

Summary: The Italian ascent of Kang Guru (6981 m) by west face and northwest ridge (German route) on 21 October 1991.