American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Asia, Nepal, Dorje Lhakpa, Winter Attempt and Tragedy

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 1996

Dorje Lhakpa, Winter Attempt and Tragedy. Americans Andy Selters, Kurt Schmierer and Greg Collum and one German attempted the unclimbed northwest face/northwest ridge of Dorje Lhakpa (6966 meters) with no climbing Sherpas, no fixed camps and no fixed ropes. After four days of climbing they had moved up the face and onto the ridge, where Selters and Schmierer established the fourth bivouac at 6400 meters. Schmierer's toes had begun freezing. The next day, December 4 , they started their descent. On the 5th, Schmierer's crampon came off while he was descending 40° hard ice on the face, and he slid down the ice into a crevasse. Selters reached him in the crevasse 15 or 20 minutes later, but he was already dead. Schmierer was the first person to die on Dorje Lhakpa. The climb was immediately abandoned.

Elizabeth Hawley

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