Field report:
To the unclimbed top ~the first ascent in the world of the Himalayas~

Breaking the trail just below the peak
Breaking the trail just below the peak
At the top of chhiv himal
At the top of chhiv himal(The left is writer)

Senior, School of Education
Leader of the Alpine Club   Takeo Yoshinaga

The sky was becoming cloudy. Attaching myself to a rope, I climbed along the narrow snow-covered edge which lead gently up to the top. It was twenty five days after leaving Japan. On 18th September, we achieved the first ascent of chhiv himal (6650m), one of the Himalayas that had never been climbed before. Without thinking, I refastened my rope and sat down to take a deep breath. And then I called loudly to the people following me, “You can come up now!”

Next year, the Japan Alpine Society will celebrate the 100th anniversary of the foundation. The Mustang Tour Team of Japan Alpine Society student club was organized as one of the anniversary projects. The aim of the team was to achieve the first ascent of as-yet-unclimbed chhiv himal in the Mustang area of Nepal, and the second ascent of saribung (6328m), which is next to chhiv himal across a saddle, subsequent to last year’s ascent by an American team. In March, five team members were chosen from the various universities’ alpine clubs, including two who were selected from Waseda’s Alpine club.

The Mustang area is located middle west of Nepal, bordering Tibet, and once it was called the ”Forbidden Kingdom”. Because of its national isolation until 1992, much of it is still unknown now.

After spend 10 days in the caravan, we built the base camp. Then we started our advance, setting up the first and second camps along the way. On the way to the top, there are many steep snow walls and narrow snow edges. We climbed while fastened to the rope in the altitudes over 1000m. We had to stop to recover our breath every 10 steps at the altitude of more than 6000m. We felt the sense of being the first ones to set foot in a new world, step by step along ledges that had never before been walked. It was a feeling beyond expression. When at last we reached the top, we felt full of relief more than anything else. The day after the ascent of chhiv himal, we successfully made the second-ever ascent of saribung.

Now many university alpine club are inactive because of lack of members, and Waseda’s club is no exception. But we hope that this tour will encourage Alpine clubs to become active. Challenging an untrodden peak that has never been climbed by anyone makes us feel the real enjoyment of mountain climbing. In five years, the member who follow after me will be inspired by this tour and take on the challenge of other untrodden peaks. At least, that is my sincere hope.

Copyright (C) Student Affairs Division, WASEDA University. 2004 All rights reserved.
First drafted 2004 November 18.