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Asia, Tibet, Habuqung Shan, Dobzebo, First Ascent, Via Southwest Ridge

Dobzebo, first ascent, via southwest ridge. When our team of four, comprising Alpine Club members Derek Buckle, Alasdair Scott, Martin Scott, and Bill Thurston, were searching for new climbing opportunities, we looked no farther than Tibet. Requiring a relatively unexplored region with interesting unclimbed 6,000m peaks, we eventually chose the Habuqung Shan range, which rises to the northwest of Lhasa and has reasonable access. One mountain in particular, Dobzebo, which possesses an impressive north face and rises in splendid isolation to over 6,400m south of the lake of Zuru Tso, attracted our attention and became our main focus.

Leaving London on September 25, our party flew to Lhasa via Beijing, before traveling by Land Cruiser to the village of Tsha-tse near the foot of Dobzebo. From here we established a base camp at 5,120m to the southwest of the mountain. Subsequently we established two further camps, at 5,690m and 6,100m. We climbed the 30-40° glaciated south face above our high camp on October 8 and reached the 6,412m (GPS reading) north summit (Alpine PD). The view reinforced earlier conjectures that the southwest summit was indeed somewhat higher, but the doublecorniced ridge leading to it was an unattractive option. We descended, in order to relocate our base camp farther to the north. From this second base camp, at 5,005m, we placed a third high camp at 5,503m, beside a large lake lying beneath the foot of the long southwest ridge.

After an early start on the 14th we climbed over steep broken ground to the crest of the initially broad southwest ridge. This narrowed considerably before reaching the summit ice field at ca. 6,100m. Straightforward climbing (Alpine F+) up the corniced ridge brought us to the 6,429m (GPS reading) southwest summit. A broad panorama stretched from the Himalaya in the south to the Lungmari group and beyond in the north. Loinbo Kangri (7,095m) was visible a little south of west.

We made a brief reconnaissance of the Lungmari massif before returning home. We are grateful to the Mount Everest Foundation and the British Mountaineering Council for their financial support for this expedition.

Derek Buckle, Alpine Club, United Kingdom