American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Asia, Nepal, Cho Oyu, Attempt, Tragedy and Assault

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

Cho Oyu Attempt, Tragedy and Assault. An expedition of seven Koreans apparently had permission for the southwest ridge of Cho Oyu but turned instead to the southeast face. They reached 7800 meters before abandoning their effort. Ang Lhakpa (also known as Lhakpa Nuru) had scaled Everest twice as well as two other 8000ers. He fell and was killed on this expedition. Tragically, he was one of five Sherpas who died as they accompanied climbers on winter expeditions this year. The Sherpa climber’s death rate was three times that of the foreigners who perished this winter. Since the Koreans were on the same route as the Belgians, there happened what possibly was bound to happen sooner or later when more than one team is on the same route on the same mountain at the same time. They came to blows. Alain Hubert and Régis Maincent were attacked with fists and sticks, according to them, by three of the Korean party and six Sherpas. The Korean leader Lee Ho-Sang denies that any Koreans took part in the fracas, but he does agree that in the hour-long fight Maincent received a head wound that bled badly and that a rope was tied around Maincent’s neck and his arms were pinned behind his back. The Europeans fled into the night, hobbling away with the aid of their ski poles.

Elizabeth Hawley

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