Pumori, Southeast Face, and Other Ascents. The Czech Mountaineering Expedition Spring '96 engaged in alpine-style climbing without a Base Camp and made ascents of Island Peak (6160 m) via the normal route, Ama Dablam (6812 m) via the south face (second ascent of the 1994 Russian route; stopped on the southeast ridge at 6550 m) and Pumori (7145 m) via the southeast face—a first ascent*. The members were Zdenek Michalec (34) and Leopold Sulovsky (41).
From a Base Camp at Thengpoche in the Lodge, we acclimatized below the south face of Ama Dablam and made a visual exploration of the wall. On April 24, we transferred to Dingboche and set up Island Peak Base Camp the next day. On April 25, we camped below the summit ice field (5900 m), then made our ascent to the top of Island Peak (6160 m) and descended to Chhukhung on the 26th. After resting in Tengpoche, we transferred to Ama Dablam Base Camp, using only one porter, and set up camp on the glacier below the south face. We made the second ascent of the Russian (1994) route on May 2, encountering rock to IVV and 80° ice. We made camp on the southeast ridge (6450 m), then continued on the east ridge up to about 6550 meters. In this season the ridge ends with huge seracs that are impossible to pass without undertaking extreme risk. We decided to descend and the same day (May 3) were back in Tengpoche.
On May 11 and 12, after a rest in Tengpoche and transfer to Pheriche and Pumori Base Camp (only one porter used), we made a visual exploration of the southeast face of Pumori. The next day we started climbing, making Camp I at 6100 meters. On the 14th, we climbed in vertical ice, and established Camp II at 6500 meters. We continued climbing in ice and rock on May 15. In fog we got to easier terrain close to the summit, but had problems with orientation and made Camp III at 7000 meters. On May 16 at 7:40 a.m. we reached the top of Pumori (7145 m) and descended by the normal route to Base Camp.
Zdenek Michalec, Czech Republic
*The line of ascent shared aspects with other routes done previously on the face. See photo.