American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Asia, Nepal, Cho Oyu

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 1987

Cho Oyu. An international expedition was led by the Swiss Stefan Wörner. They followed close after the Poles on the new route up the southwest face of Cho Oyu. The expedition had originally been given a permit to attempt Cho Oyu via its east ridge from the south face of Ngojumba Kang, but their attempt was stopped at 6400 meters in a very dangerous chaos of séracs and crevasses. Wörner states that the east-ridge approach to Cho Oyu appears as difficult as a traverse from Lhotse Shar to Lhotse’s main summit. [This route was attempted by British in 1984 and Poles and Americans in 1985. Americans Mark Richey and Rick Wilcox got to about 7950 meters.—Editor. ] They then turned to the southwest face. Seven members reached the summit, a route which is more direct, shorter and safer than the Tichy route. On May 3 Austrian Peter Habeler and the late Swiss Marcel Rüedi left a bivouac at 6000 meters and climbed to another bivouac at 7600 meters. After being held stormbound there for a day, they reached the summit on May 5. On May 9 American Jan Smith and German Rüdiger Schleypen got to the top, followed by three soloists: German Jörg Daum on May 10, Deputy leader Yugoslav Bogdan Brakas on May 11 and Austrian Manfred Lorenz on May 16. None used oxygen and all climbed semi- alpine-style.

Michael J. Cheney, Himalayan Club, and Elizabeth Hawley

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