American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Chomolhari

Asia, Himalayas, Bhutan/China

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year: 1937
  • Publication Year: 1938

In May 1937, Mr. F. Spencer Chapman with the porter Passang successfully accomplished the ascent of this beautiful mountain in the Butan-Tibet border. Unfortunately his companion, C. E. Crawford, could not continue on to the summit owing to the necessity of returning to Calcutta on time. Mr. Chapman through friendships made on a mission to Lhasa was able to obtain permission for his climb. Although no difficulties were experienced on the ascent, the descent was fraught with adventure. Near the summit, Passang slipped, carrying away Chapman who was taking a photograph. After a fall of about 500 ft., Chapman succeeded in getting his iceaxe in and stopping the fall a few feet from the edge of a precipice. Further down the two climbers were forced by a storm to reascend several hundred feet and set up a camp they had just taken down. Each night they had to wring out their wet sleeping bags before going to bed, and as their matches had been wet and were useless they had to live on snow mixed with barley meal. Another time, owing to a mix-up, Passang held the rope too taut and caused Chapman to fall into the middle of a crevasse which he was jumping, from which it took him some three hours to extricate himself. Mr. Chapman is to be congratulated on his climb and complimented on his safe return, with a sense of humor still intact.

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