is the eastern bastion with its East Face overlooking the
Modi Khola, guarding the entrance to the Annapurna Sanctuary.
An impressive mountain in its own right, and not, as it
was at one time dubbed, ‘the eastern outlier of Annapurna
South’. Despite the relative ease of access to the
mountain and the popularity, rightly so, of the Sanctuary
as a trekking destination, it has, like Fluted Peak, received
little attention from mountaineers although it obviously
offers major new route potential.
the south, Hiunchuli has few weaknesses in its defences.
A precipitous south wall rises above the untracked Chomrong
Khola, seemingly menaced by snow avalanches from the slabby,
ice – veined buttresses above.
the north the mountain rises steeply above the moraines
of the Annapurna South Glacier in a series of slabby buttresses
and an ill defined and complicated North Ridge. These in
turn lead to a final triangle of fluted ice that form the
summit is bounded on the east by a ridge that rises in an
icy parabola from a small col, from which a steep couloir
descends toward the moraines above the lodges at base camp.
This is a feasible looking route, and is as yet unclimbed.
mountains western arm is the ridge connecting it with Annapurna
South, and forming from the north an icy wall.
First ascent was via the South – East Face in October
1971, by an American Peace Corps Expedition led by Craig
Anderson. The members were: L. Smith, J. Skow, P. Cross
Hinko Cave (3,014m/9,900ft), climb the hillside which is
very steep to a base camp in grassy meadows (4,115m/ 13,500ft),
below the south east face of the mountain. Form base camp
cross below two glaciers in sight of the east face. There
is potential ice fall danger from these glaciers. Climb
a rock wall and sight Camp 1 on the glacier above (circa
camp 1 cross the glacier running due east to a rock wall
and climb this at its lowest point on good rock. In fact,
it is possible to climb the rock wall by a couloir line
(600ft) that splits it, running diagonally left to right.
Near the top of the couloir, traverse left into shorter
couloirs that are followed to the upper snow slope and the
site of Camp 2.From Camp 2 cross a large snow basin that
leads to the foot of a hanging glaciers and camp 3.
From Camp 3 climb up a narrow acalanche chute (be ware of
danger) to the base of a hanging glacier. Traverse left
under the hanging glacier to easier slopes above are climbed
to the site of Camp 4 (6,069m/20,000ft), beneath a large
1982 the route and the mountain had a second ascent that
followed a variant from Camp 2. Between Camp 1 and Camp
2 they fixed approximately 820 meters (900ft) of rope. Camp
2 was on the hanging glacier (5,334m/17,500ft). then the
way leads to the Camp 3, to the top of the ridge (5,700m/
18,700ft), and the climb steep ice steps to the summit.
mountain above is unseen at this point, the view is blocked
by the gorge- like walls of the mountain that effectively
help to form the ‘gate to the sanctuary’.
one mile beyond the Hinku Cave en route to Bhaga, next to
an obvious waterfall. The path made by hunters, leads to
the upper meadows below the south – east face of Hiunchuli.
This path is very steep and the way most unlikely, zig-
zagging through the lower rock slabs! An advanced base camp
was established at 4,267 meters (14000ft). the climb takes
about five hours from Bhaga.
gain the gully and climb this for 200 meters (650 ft); this
is fairly straightforward, although there is a difficult
pitch near the top and some poor rock. At the top of the
gully descend for one rope length into a hollow and climb
a second icy gully for three rope lengths and gain a notch
in the skyline ridge.
along the narrow ridge you will be able to climb on to the
North Glacier above the icefall and establish a camp( 5,330m/
17,487ft). this is the hidden and devious section route,
and is full of interest.
further camp can be made on a ledge in a crevasse at 5,700m.
From the crevasse a steep climb diagonally leftwards, traversing
under the seracs, leads to a long ice runnel, which is climbed,
to an ice column.Above the serac, climb the summit ridge
with one steep pitch which leads to a large crevasse, which
is the final obstacle before the large flat summit.
– WEST FACE
ascent was made by a steep ice couloir and ice buttress
leading to the east ridge and by connecting to the south
ridge it led to the summit. It was climbed solo by Japanese
climber Masayuki Ando in 1984.
the base camp at or around the lodges at Annapurna south
base camp follow the moraines and gain the glacier below
the North – west face of Hinchuli and the foot of
a steep couloir leading toward the West Ridge.
the ridge, rappel (250m/820ft) to a point where the south
ridge can be gained. This is followed to the summit. Above
is the couloir leading to the right side of the col, which
is climbed easily at first but which steepens at the top
to give a difficult ice pitch, after which it gets a col,
astride a knife –edged ridge.
IMJA TSE (6,189M/20305FT)
Imja Tse is the new name given to the name Island Peak,
which was given by Eric Shipton’s party who were on
their way to explore the Barun Gorge in 1952.
mountain was first climbed in 1953 by a very prestigious
team in preparation for the ascent of Everest. They were
Charles Evans, Alf Gregory, Charles Wylie and Tenzing Norgay
with seven Sherpas who were trying out the newfangled oxygen
sets; as practice, of course, for loftier things.
from the moraines between Pheriche and Dingboche the mountain
doesn’t look too impressive, dwarfed as it is by one
of the largest mountain faces in the world; the south face
of Lhotse. However, on close inspection it reveals itself
to be an interesting and attractive summit with a highly
glaciated West Face rising from the Lhotse Glacier. The
mountain itself is really an extension of the South Ridge
of Lhotse Shar and is separated from it by a small col.
Above this gap, rising to the south, is a classically beautiful
ridge leading to the summit of Imja Tse.