American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Asia, Nepal, Pumori, South Ridge

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 1979

Pumori, South Ridge. After a strenuous 18-day approach with 160 porters under torrential rains, we established Base Camp on October 3 on the moraine of the Khumbu Glacier at 17,500 feet. The peak appeared wintery and morale sank as it snowed for the next three days. However, good weather on October 7 and 8 let us reconnoiter to the site of Camp I at 20,275 feet and fix the route with ropes. On October 10 the second group established Camp I and attacked a still unclimbed part of the buttress, forcing a new variant up 1000 feet of UIAA IV+ and V difficulty. On October 16 Camp II was established. Ropes were fixed above Camp II the next day. On October 18 Claudio Zimmermann, Fausto Tettamanti and Luca Sganzini left Camp II for the summit (23,442 feet), which they reached at 11:30. It was crowded at Camp II that night, for four more of us had come up to climb to the summit the next day. Renato Korell, Tiziano Zünd, Sirdar Pasang Norbu and I set out before dawn in frigid full-moonlight. Only 650 feet below the top Korell had to give up. We other three continued on to the summit and descended that same day to Base Camp, but Korell stayed at Camp II, determined to make a second try. He was successful in this on October 21, when he climbed to the summit in seven hours with Guido Bumann and Francesco Ponzio. Other members of the expedition were Vittorio Bigio, Nello Pagani, Darien Afshar, Dr. Numa Chiesa, Fausto Sassi and Anny Monti.

Romolo Nottaris, Club Alpino Svizzero

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