American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Asia, Tibet, Changtse, Northeast Ridge Attempt

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

Changtse, Northeast Ridge Attempt. We arrived at Everest Base Camp after a five-day motorcade adventure from Lhasa. Initially blessed with good weather, we were able to establish Camp I and Advance Base at 18,000 and 20,000 feet on September 13 and 16. Deteriorating weather delayed placing Camp III at 21,000 feet until the 19th. High winds and snowfall prevented establishment of Camp IV at 23,000 feet until September 25. We installed Camp III A at 22,000 feet on the 26th just below 600 feet of fixed line in the couloir leading to Changtse’s upper plateau for logistical support above. While Mike Meyer, Ziggy Muhlhauser and I ferried loads from Camps IIIA to IV on September 28, Terry McNeil and David Tollakson made a summit bid from Camp IV. Waistdeep snow, hazardous winds and avalanche conditions on the long, knife-edged northeast ridge forced them to retreat from 23,750 feet, a mile from and 1000 feet below the summit. Further deteriorating weather caused our withrawal.

Paul Pfau

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