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Japanese Team Climbs Kyashar South Pillar

Tatsuya Aoki and Hiroyoshi Manome approach the South Pillar of Kyashar (6769m). Aoki, Manome and Yasuhiro Hanatani put up Nima Line (ED+: 5.10a M5) in six days and encountered loose rock and dangerous snow on part of the ridge. [Photo] Yasuhiro Hanatani

In November, Yasuhiro Hanatani, Tatsuya Aoki and Hiroyoshi Manome made the first ascent of the highly sought-after South Pillar of Kyashar (6769mm) in the Khumbu region of Nepal’s Mahalangur Himal. The Japanese team is calling the 2000m route Nima Line (ED+: 5.10a M5). The word “Nima” means “sun” in Nepali, and the climbers decided on the name after experiencing near-perfect weather conditions during their six days of climbing. While their route wasn’t incredibly hard, the terrain itself proved to be challenging because of so much loose rock and unconsolidated snow on the ridge. Since 2001, eight teams have attempted climbing the Kyashar’s South Pillar via several different routes. All were turned around for various reasons.

The Japanese team climbing the unconsolidated snow ridge. It took the trio all day to climb five pitches. [Photo] Yasuhiro Hanatani

In first three days of climbing, the trio navigated pitch after pitch of loose and blocky rock. It wasn’t until the fourth day on the route that they reach good rock, but they were quickly confronted with sugary, unconsolidated snow and spent two hours digging a bivy spot for the night. On the fifth day, they were confronted with a decision to continue through the dangerous, 80-degree snow ridge or retreat. If they continued, they would not be able to turn around. Ultimately, they chose to keep moving, albeit, slowly. It took them all day to climb five pitches over most of the cruddy snow. On their sixth and final day, the team summited at four in the afternoon in perfect conditions. They bivied at 6250m and descended via the west ridge the following day, finally encountering snowy and windy weather.

During their six days of climbing, the team experienced near perfect conditions. On the descent, they were faced with suboptimal weather. [Photo] Yasuhiro Hanatani

Yasuhiro Hanatani is currently in Tokyo awaiting his first-born baby. He says he will be taking about a month off between his successful ascent and mountain guiding. This year he plans to climb the south side of Gurja Himal.

Hanatani is no stranger the Himalayan climbing. In 2004 he was part of an expedition that brought him to 6100m up the Shark’s Fin of Meru (6310m), but before they could complete the route, Hanatani took a fall, breaking both his legs. He returned two year later with the same team to complete the second ascent of the peak.

Sources: Yasuhiro Hanatani,