Ama Dablam, west face. Yasuyuki Shinno and Takahiro Yoshida made a very rare ascent of the west face. It appears the pair hoped to climb a new line between the American and Smid routes but decided there was too much steep rock, so instead more or less followed the line of the American Direct (1,500m, 5.6 AI 4, Dunmire-Warner, 1990), making a small variant in the lower section. The two reached a high camp (4,600m) below the face on November 14, the same day as the avalanches [see below]. They started up the face the following day in alpine style, bivouacking at 5,950m on the 15th and 6,240m on the 16th. The next day they climbed less than 100m, bivouacking below and rather well to the left of the Dablam, before climbing to ca 6,700m on the 18th. Most of the climbing had been 50-60° but there were a couple of sections of 85°, notably reaching and bypassing the remains of the Dablam. The pair quickly reached the 6,814m summit at 9:20 a.m. on the 19th and then descended the southwest ridge all the way to Camp 1 (5,900m), which they reached at 5:40 p.m. The descent was long and tiring, with no fixed rope to follow on the ridge above Camp 3, where it had obviously been swept away by the November 14 avalanches. Yoshida had minor frostbite to the fingers.
Tamotsu Nakamura, Japanese Alpine News