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Item #: OP1237-3113
AT GRIPS WITH JANNU Jean Franco 1967 1st ed Hardcover DJ Fine 3 Copies Available
By Franco, Jean and Lionel Terray
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London, Victor Gollancz, 1967, 1st edition. 192 pp, 60+ b/w photos, maps. Blue cloth hardcover with dust jacket. Jacket may have minor edge wear, else both are bright and Fine.

The ascent of Jannu in 1962 was considered the hardest Himalayan climb done at the time. 

Accounts of three French expeditions to Jannu in 1957, 1959, and the 1962 first ascent.

Jannu is an important Western outlier of Kangchenjunga, the third highest peak in the world. It is a large and steep peak in its own right, and has numerous challenging climbing routes. The official name of this peak is Kumbhakarna, but the designation Jannu is still better known.

Jannu is the 32nd highest mountain in the world (using a cutoff of 500m prominence, or re-ascent). It is more notable for its climbing challenge: it is one of the hardest peaks in the world in terms of technical difficulty, due to a complex structure, a large rise above local terrain, and particularly steep climbing near the summit. The North Face, in particular, has been the scene of some of the most technical (and controversial) climbing ever done at altitudes over 7000m.

Jannu was first reconnoitered in 1957 by Guido Magnone, and first attempted in 1959 by a French team led by Jean Franco. It was first climbed in 1962 by a team led by the noted French alpinist Lionel Terray. Those reaching the summit were Robert Paragot, Paul Kellar, Renι Desmaison, and Sherpa Gyalzen Mitchu (April 28) and Jean Ravier, Lionel Terray, and Sherpa Wangdi (April 29).

Their route starts from the Yamatari Glacier south of the peak and follows a circuitous route to the large plateau known as the Throne (a hanging glacier south of the summit). It then climbed to the summit via the Southeast Ridge.

The huge, steep North Face (the so-called 'Wall of Shadows') was first climbed in 1976 by a Japanese team, by a route that starts on the left side of the face and then meets the East Ridge, avoiding the steep headwall at the top of the face. A Slovenian climber, Tomo Cesen, claimed a solo ascent of a more direct route on the face in 1989, but this claim is considered suspect by many in the climbing community.

In 2004, after a failed attempt the previous year, a Russian team led by Alexander Odintsov succeeded in climbing the direct North Face route through the headwall. This required big-wall aid techniques in a sustained, committing setting at over 7500m, a major achievement. However some in the climbing community were upset to learn that the Russians left a good deal of equipment on the wall, provoking a debate over what constitutes appropriate modern style on such a route. Despite the controversy, the team won the Piolet d'Or for the ascent.


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