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Asia, Nepal, Pumori, Women's Expedition

Pumori, Women’s Expedition. We were seven women, Diane Taliaferro, Sue Giller, Lucy Smith, Carol Snetsinger, Kathy Phibbs, Lynne Wolfe and I, and one man, Steve Lawrence. We climbed the southwest ridge. Through a series of events, we ended at a Base Camp on the west side of Kala Patar, and so may have pioneered a new route on the first 2000 feet. From Base Camp we worked around the right of the triangular glacier and up a thousand vertical feet to the Kala Patar ridge through sections of rock and 60° to 70° ice. Camp I was placed on April 7 at 19,600 feet on the first bit of flat ground. The route was unusually dry this season. We encountered mostly loose rock and mushroom ice between Camps I and II. The latter was occupied on April 13 at 20,400 feet. We intersected the regular route there. We traversed under rock towers through very loose rock and along sun-cupped ice and water ice before moving vertically onto better rock back to the ridge. We placed Camp III at 21,500 feet on April 23. The route was littered with old fixed rope and hardware, some of which we cleaned. On April 25, Lucy Smith, Carol Snetsinger and Kathy Phibbs summited. Three days later, Diane Taliaferro and I also reached the summit.

Shari Kearney, National Outdoor Leadership School