American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Asia, Nepal, Ama Dablam Attempt

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 1990

Ama Dablam Attempt. Our commercial group consisted of Americans Dwain Stranahan and Craig Selsman and Britons Alan Lees and me. Since the Nepalese give more than one permit for the same route at the same time and since there is not much room for tents, we opted to go early, in March rather than in April. Camp I was established at the usual site at 19,000 feet. We spent the next three days fixing rope along the south ridge, generally on good rock. Do not count on fixed ropes remaining below the Yellow Tower; Sherpas from Pangboche tend to remove them. The Yellow Tower offers the most technical rock climbing (5.8). Camp II was sited on the top of a second subsidiary tower. From there, we were forced to retreat by a storm and it was ten days before we could return. Our time was running low and a Colorado group was on its way to Base Camp. We spent two days climbing the true second tower, which was quite difficult. In the upper section leading to the Mushroom Ridge, the ice was fantastically hard and bottle green. We had much rockfall and two fixed ropes were chopped. At the foot of this tower, we found the body of Canadian Charles Eckenfelder, who was killed in 1988; we were unable to bury him. Our final dump was made at the end of the Mushroom Ridge on April 12. We had run out of time.

William O’Connor, England

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