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Asia, Nepal, Khumbu Himal, Kangtega, East Pillar, First Ascent, Winter Ascent

Kangtega, east pillar, first ascent, winter ascent. The most interesting climb of the winter 2001-02 season was a new line followed by a trio of Frenchmen on Kangtega, 6779m, a peak in the Everest region southwest of Ama Dablam. Christophe Profit, Olivier Besson, and Andre Rhem made a rapid alpine- style climb of the east pillar to 6400m from a base camp at 5000m on the Hinku Nup Glacier.

Their pillar had never been attempted before, and for the first two days they encountered no very great difficulties. But above their second bivouac at 6,300m, after they had moved another 100 meters to the shoulder, serious problems arose. The pillar ended at the shoulder, and now seracs threatened from above. Straight up from the shoulder were not only dangerous seracs, but also a difficult rock step with mixed rock and ice in some places. They decided to make an easy traverse to the normal route on the southeast face, went to the top from there, and descended the face.

Elizabeth Hawley