American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Asia, Nepal, Lobuche East, Pumori, and Nuptse, Ascents and Tragedy

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 1998

Lobuche East, Pumori, and Nuptse, Ascents and Tragedy. Tomaž Humar, Janez Jeglic, Marjan Kovac, Bercic Cene, and Kokalj Franc from Slovenia, along with Carlos Carsolio from Mexico, were active in the Nepal Himalaya during the post-monsoon. From September 29 -October 1, Humar, Jeglic and Carsolio climbed Talking About Tsampa (V-VI 85°, 900m) on the northeast face of Lobuche East (6119m). From October 9-11, Humar, Jeglic, Carsolio, and Marjan Kovac climbed 800 meters of an independent line on the southeast face of Pumori (7165m) leading to the French South Pillar route, reaching 6300 meters before being called down to aid in a rescue of four climbers who had been attempting Pumori’s east ridge and fallen down the north face. (Czech Milos Kijonka was the only one to survive. See above.) After the rescue, Humar, Jeglic, Bercic Cene, Marjan Kovac, and Kokalj Franc ascended Pumori by its normal route for acclimatization. On October 26, Humar, Jeglic and Kovac approached the base of Nuptse’s west face; Carsolio considered the face to be too dangerous given the unfavorable weather of the last few weeks and opted not to climb. Kovac bowed out the next morning due to illness, leaving Humar and Jeglic to solo the 2500-meter wall in five days (belaying, according to Humar, would have made the climb too slow). The pair moved over rock and ice that averaged 50°-60° and was occasionally 80°, reaching Nuptse’s northwest summit (7742m) on October 31. Tragically, Jeglic was blown off balance by the wind and fell down the 2500-meter south face, leaving Humar to descend the west face solo, which he did in two and a half days, frostbiting four toes and sustaining injuries to his face and head in the process (the men climbed without helmets to save weight). A full account of this bold but tragic ascent appears earlier in this journal.

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