AAC Publications - http://publications.americanalpineclub.org

Asia, Nepal, Lhotse Shar Attempt

Lhotse Shar Attempt. On August 28 Base Camp was set up on the west bank of the Imja Glacier, beneath the eastern flank of Island Peak at 17,000 feet. The route to Camp I was begun on September 2 and lay up the rubble-covered glacier and slopes on the eastern side of the col separating Lhotse Shar’s south spur from Island Peak. From the col we made a northern traverse over a series of snowy bumps, followed by a 70-foot abseil into the western flank which led to a glacial shelf and the site of Camp I at 19,100 feet. This camp was finally established on September 10 and work on the lower part of the south spur began. It was slow work fixing rope on the crest of the spur in deep snow. Every day it snowed after noon and the weather improved only after September 20. Over a number of days we fixed rope to 22,000 feet and a 600-foot traverse left led to Camp II behind a sérac. On the 24th Alan Burgess and I moved to Camp II and fixed 650 feet more rope. We could see that we needed 1500 feet of additional rope, which we would have to buy from the village of Pheriche. On September 26 Adrian Burgess and Mike O’Donnel went to Camp II to continue fixing rope. At the high point it became obvious that all the hard work which was still necessary for establishing Camp III was too much for the physical strength and morale of our small group. The team returned to Base Camp. Alan and Adrian Burgess then decided to change to the southeast ridge of Lhotse Shar. After climbing quickly to 21,000 feet, they encountered a serious sérac barrier which they felt would require fixed rope for the descent. The two were not able to carry fixed rope and so the expedition was abandoned on October 7.

Paul Moores, Alpine Climbing Group