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Asia, Tibet, Himalaya, Chomo Lonzo, North and Central Summits, First Ascents

Chomo Lonzo, North and Central Summits, first ascents. An eight-man French team of Stéphane Benoist, Yann Bonneville, Aymeric Clouet, Yannick Graziani, Patrice Glairon-Rappaz, Chris- tophe Moulin (leader), Christian Trommsdorff, and Patrick Wagnon planned to attempt the huge northeast spur of Chomo Lonzo’s unclimbed Central Summit. However, after arriving at base camp in April and inspecting the route as far as 6,100m, they decided there was far too much snow and transferred base camp to the west side of the massif. During acclimatization Benoist and Glairon-Rappaz climbed Chago (6,893m), the border peak northwest of Makalu II. They climbed the north face to reach the foot of the northwest ridge, then climbed the Nepalese flank of the latter to the summit. They descended the route, mainly by rappel. This appears to be the first time Chago has been climbed from Tibet.

On May 4 and 5 Bonneville, Clouet, and Moulin attempted the west face of Chomo Lonzo North (7,199m), retreating from 6,600m. In the meantime Graziani, Trommsdorff, and Wagnon made the first ascent of this summit, by the northwest ridge. They later returned, repeated their route to the North Summit, and continued with a committing and difficult traverse to the 7,540m Central Summit, though Wagnon stopped 40m below the top. The ascent alone took six days. Early in the climb they met Benoist and Glairon-Rappaz, who had completed a new route on the west face of Chomo Lonzo North. Named Unforgiven, this 1,100m line sported difficult mixed climbing and vertical ice. The pair descended the northwest ridge. The stories of these impressive ascents on Chomo Lonzo North and Central appear earlier in the Journal.