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Asia, Nepal, Cholatse, Southwest Ridge, 1993 Solo Ascent

Cholatse, Southwest Ridge, 1993 Solo Ascent. I went to Nepal along with the 1993 American Cholatse team on September 23 (see AAJ 1994, page 218). After a few days of recovering from bronchitis and other problems at Base Camp I started the ascent of the route on October 18 following the lines that had been fixed by the team in previous acclimation ascents. I climbed directly from Advanced Base Camp II at 19,000 feet reaching this place at 2:30 p.m. after 14 hours. The last four pitches of this steep and exposed section were climbed without the use of a rope. On the next morning I followed the southwestern ridge, a 75° slope, to Camp III for five hours without the use of a rope. Because of the snow softening so much I decided to rest and rehydrate for an early morning summit attempt and meet with the other team members who were returning from a successful summit bit. On October 22 after a four-hour ascent I reached the summit at 21,129 feet at 11 a.m. This place was a knifeblade-type ridge whose steep faces fall 6,000 feet to the Cholatse lake on one side and toward the Taboche Glacier on the other. The tip of the summit was two feet wide facing east toward Thugla. I started my descent after 45 minutes, and reached Base Camp 12 hours later.

Thomas Heinrich