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Asia, Nepal, Mera, Southwest Buttress

Mera, Southwest Buttress. Our expedition, consisting of George Davidson, Mal Duff, Lesley Shipway, Ian Tattersall and me as leader, reached Base Camp on March 20, having trekked to Lukla and crossed the Hinku valley via the Zatre Wala Pass. Over the next three days we moved equipment up to Advance Base on the banks of the Dudh Kund. Duff and Tattersall remained at this camp to reconnoiter the final approach and were joined by Shipway and me for the attempt on March 26. However, we two descended the next day because Ship- way, who was suffering from bronchitis, was going very slowly and the approach was seriously threatened by séracs from the eastern and western ice- falls. Duff and Tattersall made good progress through the western icefall before making a rising traverse to reach the crest of the southwest buttress. They followed the buttress crest except for occasional excursions onto the flanks to avoid overhangs. They reached the summit (6654 meters, 21,830 feet) on March 30. The route was graded E.D. inf. because of the seriousness of the approach, hard ice and bad rock with poor protection.

Ray Delaney, England