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Asia, Nepal, Chamlang East

Chamlang East. Our Netherlands women’s expedition was composed of Dr. Annet Boom, Myra de Rooy, Janka van Leeuwen, Gerda de Groene, Marjolein Meere and me as leader. Two Sherpas helped us to carry loads to Camp I. Base Camp at 4850 meters was established on April 17. There being no water, the Sherpas carried it from the glacier some 100 meters below. We set up Advance Base on April 20 at 5465 meters at the foot of the Lower Barun Glacier. This was mainly a depot. Camp I was placed at 5750 meters on April 23. One tent in this windy camp was destroyed by rockfall. Camp II was set up at 6130 meters on April 29 on the north face just below the hardest pitch of the face. Camp III at 6720 meters had only one two-person tent; we all five slept in it on May 10. Doug Scott, who had made the first ascent in 1982, had told us about rockfall and ice avalanches between Base and Advance Base. Below the north face, there were no technical difficulties but many crevasses. On the face there was hard, steep ice up to 80° with little or no snow on it. We used 26 ice screws and left four of them with the fixed ropes. Apparently we had more difficulty on the face than Scott, but less on the southeast ridge. It took five or six hours to climb to the east summit (7235 meters, 23,737 feet) and three to descend. We used one of Scott’s slings and fixed two ropes on the steep, crumbly, icy snow on the ridge. On May 10, de Groene, Meere and van Leeuwen reached the summit and on May 11, de Rooy and I. Both days were fine but windy. After May 12, the weather turned so bad we could not have made it.

Frederike Bloemers, Koniklijke Nederland.se Alpen Vereniging