American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Asia, Nepal, Chobutse, Rolwaling Valley

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 1973

Chobutse, Rolwaling Valley. The members of our expedition were Michaela Wegert, Gustav and Klaus Harder, Peter Vogler and I as leader. On April 8 we finally ascended the upper Rolwaling Khola from Beding to the high alpine meadow, Nangaon, and some 650 feet higher established Base Camp at 14,100 feet, close to the Ripimu Glacier. Michaela Wegert and I on April 12 climbed P 5300 (17,389 feet), just north of Kang Pom Ri. An attempt by Klaus Harder and Vogler from the northwest to climb Chigimago, south of Base Camp, failed some 650 feet from the top. After a week of acclimatization, we felt strong enough for our main objective, Chobutse (21,982 feet). We hoped to approach it from the Ripimu Glacier, climb a steep step into the glacial basin below the col between it and Takargo and up the eastern face to the summit. We placed Camp I at 16,750 feet on April 14 in the moraine of the Ripimu. The approach to the glacial basin was steep and dangerous, being overhung by an ice terrace. We spent a day securing the route. With bivouac equipment for three days Gustav Harder and I set out on April 17 from Camp I. Knee-deep and even hip-deep snow and intense sun forced us to halt at 19,350 feet around noon. We dug a snow cave. The next day we went on in not difficult terrain but bothered by new snow. After a long traverse, we reached the col. We continued up astride the sharp ridge. Camp III was at 20,350 feet in a hole in a huge cornice. On the 19th Gustav and I climbed some 350 feet of difficult mixed climbing but had to turn back for lack of pitons. On April 22 Vogler and I were back in Camp III. On the 23rd we fixed ropes on the rock band and were joined by the Harder brothers in Camp III. On April 24 we were soon up the fixed ropes, then traversed steep ice, climbed a snow gully, a steep step and looked up at the two-pronged top. When we got there, we could view the 8000ers, Lhotse, Makalu, Everest and nearby Cho Oyu. Gaurisankar and Meluntse seemed near enough to touch. After that climb we headed up the Tolam Bau Glacier. Camp was set up at 17,700 feet above the difficult and dangerous icefall that separated the upper and lower parts of the glacier. It was at the foot of Tangiragitau. On May 6, Vogler and Klaus Harder climbed P 6150 (20,177 feet), which lies just south of Takargo, from the east, a climb repeated the next day by Michaela Wegert and me. Also on May 7 Vogler and Klaus Harder climbed Pimu (20,670 feet). From a col north of Tangiragitau they ascended easy rock and continued on across steep snow gullies. Finally they reached an ice rib which in six rope-lengths and two hours led them to the main south ridge. The remaining 650 feet up the final ice ridge took two more hours. Descent finally ended at midnight.

Wolfgang Weinzierl, Deutscher Alpenverein

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