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Asia, Nepal, Annapurna Himal, Mahalangur Himal - Khumbu Section, Ama Dablam, Lagunak Ridge, Attempt

Ama Dablam, Lagunak Ridge, attempt. Between October 1 and November 2, Tina Di Batista and I were members of a Slovenian Jubilee expedition to Ama Dablam. The expedition was organized to honor the 30th anniversary of the first Slovenian ascent of an 8,000m peak. In 1975 a Slovenian team (though in those days we were still Yugoslavia) climbed a new route on the south face of Makalu. Four of the seven Makalu summiters were on the 2005 Ama Dablam expedition, and all reached the top via the southwest ridge; Janko Azman, Janez Dovzan, Viki Groselj (expedition leader) and Marjan Manfreda. These four climbers were accompanied by Croatian Stipe Bozic, who was making a film.

Tina and I made an attempt on the Lagunak Ridge, which was climbed for the first time in 1985 by a Spanish-American trio, who completed the route using fixed ropes (this is the south ridge of Ama Dablam, which joins the Standard Route up the southwest ridge at ca. 6,500m—Ed.). We tried it in alpine-style. We started early in the morning of October 19. In the lower section we found fixed ropes along a rocky part of the ridge. We bivied below a small cornice at 6,070 m. Next day we continued over tricky mixed terain but by afternoon it had begun to snow. We waited for an hour at 6,250m but the situation was exposed and when avalanches started to fall around us, we began to rappel. We arrived at a safe spot below an overhanging rock wall after dark and bivouacked here at ca. 5,800m. Next day we continued rappeling and in the aftenoon reached the foot of the route. Shortly after, we were resting in the expedition Camp 1 on the southwest ridge. Next day weather was better, so instead of descending to Pangboche as originally planned, we decided to try the southwest ridge. We reached the summit on the 23rd.

Tomaz Jakofcic, Slovenia