American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Asia, Nepal, Lhotse Shar, Southwest Face

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 1985

Lhotse Shar, Southwest Face. Our expedition, originally planned for 1983, managed to make a new route on Lhotse Shar, the southwest face. We were Dr. Leoš Chládek, Emil Fornay, František Dostál, Peter Božik, Zoltán Demján, Zdizlav Drlík, Róbert Gálfy, Karel Jakeš, Ladislav Kyrc, Stanislav Marton, Jindrich Martiš, Igor Novák, Leopold Pálenícek, Josef Rakoncaj, Jaromír Stejskal, Miroslav Šmíd, Marian Zatko and I as leader. With some difficulty, we transported our gear by truck from Czechoslovakia to Nepal as far as the village of Jiri, where porter transport began. Because the Indian and Bulgarian expeditions to Everest had preceded us, only very few capable porters remained available to us. After 13 days of march, we arrived at Base Camp at 5250 meters, in the same place as that of the Yugoslavs in 1981. Our route led through the middle of Lhotse Shar’s southwest face. The lower part up to 6150 meters was an alternating slate-and-granite rock buttress, some of it very difficult, the middle up to 7000 meters included an impressive 60° ice ridge and the upper part to the summit was of mixed rock and snow. From 7150 to 7500 meters we followed a 50° snow ramp which ended in a difficult rock barrier. Camp V was on a huge ice ridge. We then traversed left onto the face, some of 60°, and climbed to Camp VI. We regained the ridge higher by another ramp. The weather was very unfavorable and it snowed and was windy on all but four or five days. We placed six camps: Camps I, II, III, IV, V and VI at 5850, 6250, 6800, 7150, 7500 and 7900 meters respectively. The whole route was secured by 5000 meters of fixed rope. The lower part was avalanche-free but in the middle part the danger of avalanches was great. The daily snowfalls made the climb more difficult and destroyed some camps. On May 20 four climbers set out and Demján reached the summit (8400 meters, 27,560 feet), the other three turning back at 8200 meters. On May 21 Božik, Rakoncaj and Stejskal reached the summit.

Ivan Gálfy, Horská Služba, Starý Smokovec, Czechoslovakia

This AAJ article has been reformatted into HTML. Please contact us if you spot an error.