Cholatse, North Face, and Lubuje East, East Ridge
Catherine Freer, Renny Jackson, Sandy Stewart and I arrived at Base Camp at Tsholo at 4665 meters on October 14. We spent the next few days acclimatizing by walking up to Everest Base Camp to visit friends. On October 24 Freer and I started up the steep rock comer forming the east ridge of Lobuje East (6119 meters, 20,075 feet). We reached the summit four days later after an enjoyable climb of up to 5.8 difficulty, some on excellent rock. Jackson and Stewart had climbed the standard route and we followed their tracks to descend. Two days later, on October 30, we started up Cholatse’s north face. Our route went up a ramp system to reach the green gully. We followed a crest on the right side of the gully to a bowl and the mushrooms of the summit ridge. The climbing was varied: some hard rock, water ice, dangerous mushrooms and a lot of steep, rotten, unprotected snow-ice, where bollards were the only belay. Route-finding was difficult amongst all the overhangs and walls of ice. At one point rockfall forced a half-day halt until the face was in the shade and cold enough to be safe. Jackson and Steward spent three nights sitting on ledges unable to pitch their I-tents. Freer and I had only two nights out. We took seven days to reach the summit (6440 meters, 21,128 feet) and another two to descend the Swiss route.