Areri and Chuchubalstering, Various Ascents. Also in the Hindu Raj massif (see above) was a group selected from previous members of the Jeunes Alpinistes FFME. Accompanied by Emmanuel Guy, they profited from the logistics of the UIAA expedition which allowed them to explore the northern aspects of the virgin peaks Areri (5700m) and Chuchubalstering (Thui Zom, 6158m). Based out of the Aghost Bar Glacier, they accomplished a number of fine climbs. On Pt. 5560m a little to the north of the main summit of Areri, Marcel Dumas, Brice Lefevre and Erwan Le Lann established the route Entre l’Areri (VI5+ 5c, 36 pitches, 1150m) on the northeast face from September 18-23. The route followed a steep 1200-meter ice and mixed line next to a spur on the north face. The three brought a small bivouac tent but no sleeping bags with them; descent was made via a separate line. On Pt. 5800m, D. Boitard, M. Kalisz and A. Ravanel made a 23-pitch attempt (V 4+, 800m) to the right between September 21-23.
The most beautiful route taken last summer in the Nialthi Valley, and also one of the most difficult, was the Northwest Pillar of Chuchubalstering. Jérôme Thiniéres, Stéphane Benoist and Bruno Ravanat established the route Yakamoneye (VII 6, 1500m) to the top of the previously unclimbed West Summit from September 19-22, forgoing the main summit due to exhaustion and diminished food supplies. Their route followed thin, difficult ice to ca. 5000 meters on day 1. The main rocky section of the wall was encountered the next day, with another bivy established at a comfortable ledge at 5400 meters. On day 3 of the climb, a committing pendulum was followed by increasingly difficult ice that culminated in a 40- meter snow and ice wall up to 95 degrees with no gear. That night was spent at 5800 meters near the top seracs. The next day, the team began their descent, making 30 rappels, mainly from Abalokov threads, throughout the night.
On Chuchubalstering II (6000m), the west summit of Chuchubalstering, Y. Ponson, E. Guy, B. Jacquemot and S. Empereur climbed the west-northwest face from September 15-18. The 1600-meter effort stopped two pitches from the top and included 1300 meters before it met the west arête, which it joined at around 5700 meters. The northwest pillar was climbed as well. On September 21-24, the northwest face (VI 5+, mixed 6a, 800m, 26 pitches) of the northwest pillar was climbed by H. Qalizza, G. Sauget and S. Montaz-Rosset.
Bernard Domenech, France