Twenty year ago today, Ozaki & Nyima Gyaltsen made the very first and historic ascent of Mt Hkakabo Razi (5881 m).
Those were the days Myanmar is known for legendary inaccessible land back in 1990s.
Ozaki made his way to conquer this magical mountain of Northernmost Myanmar NOT very easily. He have tried since 1993, his application took 2 years for the approval.
In 1995 , “OZAKI FAMILY EXPEDITION” which consists of ten members ( including his wife, Frederique and their two children – Makoto (10 y/o ) & Sarah (7 y/o ) became first foreigners to step into Hkakaborazi national park area again after more than 58 years by botanist Kindom Ward (the first British Botanical Expedition led by Kingdom Ward during the colonial era in 1937 ). Ozaki Family Expedition 1995 wasn’t a successful expedition but importantly , all climbing crew come back down safely after they climbed up to 5100m , C2, many difficulties like falling seracs cut down the fixed ropes and the upper glaciers formed new dimesion crevasses due to rapid changes of avalanches etc. But it was a very succssful first attempt which contribute Ozaki’s successful summit bit in 1996.
In 1996 September 15 (3:12 pm ) Ozaki & Nama Gwaltsen successfully climbed the summit of Mt Hkakabo Razi, roof of Southeast Asia & Myanmar Highest Summit.
Ozaki, at that time already climbed 8 of the 14 EightThousanders including Everest North face first ascent 1980 & Everest Winter ascent 1983 .The veteran Mountaineer & Climber Ozaki’s commented on Mt. Hkakabo Razi that – “It was a very mysterious mountain,”.
“We are always looking for the more difficult climb — this is the spirit of alpinism,” he said in an interview in Yangon after the climb. “But we had to fight the weather constantly. I can say absolutely that Hkakabo Razi is one of the most difficult and dangerous mountains in the world. I was never scared before, like this time — I wanted to always run away from this mountain.” (quote-Steph Article )
Following are the images of Hkakabo Razi expedition 20 year ago and some images are even more than 21 years form Ozaki family expedition. I would like to thank Mrs. Frederique Gely-Ozaki & family for letting historic images appears in this blog. Also thanks to MHMF ( Myanmar Hiking & Mountaineering Federation ) images archives from Ko Thet Tun, Ko Kyaw Aye & MHMF members.
Long story short, this is my conclusion of this article. Images can explain better than me about the 1995 & 1996 Hkakabo Razi expedition.
( This article is dedicated to 20th Anniversary of Hkakabo First Ascent , the legendary climber Takashi Ozaki (Japan, 1951- May 14, 2011) & Nyima Gyaltsen (aka “Aung Tse”) and all expedition members. )
Ozaki & Nyima Gyaltsen posing with Myanmar , Japen & France national flags at the summit of Mt,KKBo (5881 m) 3:12 pm 1996 September 15 (i would like to credit the photo to Takashi Ozaki ) Photo Courtesy Ozaki Family : Special Thanks to Fredrique Gley Ozaki
Summit Ridge and Glacier Climbs
Welcoming back the Summit Team at Base Camp
Base Camp Views
View of Hkakabo Razi, the Mystical Mountain
Spirit of Alpine Climbing
Ozaki Family expedition 1995
Publications of Hkakabo