American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Asia, Nepal, Cho Oyu, Southeast Face Attempt and Assault

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

Cho Oyu, Southeast Face Attempt and Assault. Our Belgian expedition, consisting of Louis Lange, Régis Maincent, Michel Brent and me as leader, attempted to make a winter ascent of the southeast face of Cho Oyu. We established Base Camp, Camps I and II at 5250, 6100 and 6800 meters on November 24, December 4 and 10. After two unsuccessful alpine-style attempts for the summit which reached 7200 meters, we gave up because of the constant threat of falling séracs sweeping the upper part of the face. Twice we were nearly overwhelmed. The snow and ice conditions were very good. The wind was strong and it was cold, but the sérac danger was too great. There is a very grave matter to report. There was a Korean expedition with which we never succeeded in communicating which despite a permission only for the southwest ridge came to the southeast face. When we removed our fixed ropes, they attacked us with extreme violence. The liaison officers were four days’ march below us. Except for the intervention of the Koreans’ Sherpas, we would not have escaped with our lives, as attested to by our open wounds.

Alain Hubert, Club Alpin Belge

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