Tawoche, east-southeast face; Cholatse, direct finish to French Route; Ama Dablam, northwest face, attempt. While hundreds of climbers were in the early stages of their wanderings up and down Everest, one Swiss, Ueli Steck, was totally alone on the east-southeast face of Tawoche. He went to the base of the northeast pillar of this 6,495m peak, but saw there was too much loose rock falling down the couloir of his intended approach, so he went around to the east-southeast face. At 11:30 p.m. on April 24 he started for the face from his base at 5,200m, reached the summit in 4½ hours, and was back at base camp by 8:00 a.m. An hour after his return to camp, snow avalanches started coming down the face. “I didn’t pick the perfect route,” he commented. “It was dark.” He had stayed on the face throughout his climb, but he thinks the best route is probably one leading to the southeast summit and from there traversing to the left along the summit ridge to the highest point.
Elizabeth Hawley, AAC Honorary Member, Nepal