American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Asia, Nepal, Chulu West, Southwest Face

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 1988

Chulu West, Southwest Face. On October 14, Dawa Lama Sherpa and I climbed the southwest face of Chulu West by a direttissima. From a camp at 4300 meters, we made a reconnaissance toward the glacier at the base of the face. We found the glacier full of séracs and open crevasses that could hardly be crossed. The only alternative was to cross the face from right to left above the glacier. Delayed by morning fog, we did not set out until three A.M., crossing first easy but unstable scree, then mixed terrain and finally 50° firm snow and somewhat spongy ice. The first two-thirds was subject to rockfall. At 6100 meters the slope lessened to 45°. Then at 6300 meters, as we climbed up the right of the sérac wall, the angle steepened to 70° or 80° for some 30 meters before it eased so that we could walk to the summit (6419 meters, 21,059 feet). We arrived at four P.M. The descent was complicated by the wind on the steep east-northeast ridge and then at the foot of the summit pyramid until we found a couloir sheltered from the wind.

Carlo Stratta, Club Alpino Italiano

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