American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Asia, Nepal, Tawoche, East Face in Winter, 1989

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 1989

Tawoche, East Face in Winter, 1989. Jeff Lowe and John Roskelley made a brilliant and difficult new route on the 4000-foot-high east face of Tawoche. There was comparatively little ice and snow this winter, which doubtless made the climb harder. It was bitter cold, with only two hours of sun in the morning. The lower 1500 feet were purely rock. Above, there was mixed climbing and finally an ice chimney. It was nearly impossible to haul loads because they kept catching under the overhangs. For the most part, they descended each pitch and jümared up with the loads. Consequently they dispensed with all except essential equipment. Lowe kept his hammock for bivouacs, but Roskelley threw away his portaledge; he had to find ice patches into which to hack a bivouac ledge. The nights were uncomfortable. On February 15, 1989, they reached the summit of Tawoche (6501 meters, 21,327 feet) after climbing for 8½ days. They descended the French first-ascent route on the southeast face and ridge in another day and a half. They rated the climb as VII, 5.10, A3 with Class-6 ice.

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