Cho Oyu, southwest face to west ridge, partial new route. On October 2 the accomplished Slovenian mountaineer Pavle Kozjek soloed a partial new route to the summit of 8,188m Cho Oyu. Starting from an advanced base at 6,200m on the Gyabrag Lho Glacier, Kozjek soloed a new line on the southwest face, left of the existing Japanese and Swiss-Polish routes. Most of the 1,100m face gave snow and ice climbing at 50-60° but at ca 7,200m, near the exit, his way was barred by a steep ice fall, which the Slovenian avoided by climbing rock to the right (UIAA V-). At ca 7,300m he joined the 1986 Polish Route, up which he continued for the remaining 900m to the top, completing his ascent in a single push of 14.5 hours. After reaching the summit at 6 p.m., he descended to Camp 2 at 7,000m on the normal route. Next day he continued down to base camp, reaching it after a total of 30 hours. Kozjek’s ascent marks the first time that a new route on an 8,000m peak has been soloed in a single push and in a day. His account of this climb, for which he won the People’s Choice at this year’s Piolet d’Or, appears earlier in the Journal
Hungchi, north face. A five-member party led by Toshiya Nakajima made the first ascent of Hungchi (7,038m) from the north in the autumn. The summit was reached by Naoyuki Momose and the leader on November 1. Hungchi, a border peak a little west of Everest, was first climbed in 2003 by a Japanese expedition from the Nepalese side. The same year another Japanese expedition attempted the mountain from the north, making a long approach from Everest base camp up the Central and Western Rongbuk glaciers. The team climbed the north face to a 6,600m col on the northwest ridge and then continued up the crest, partly on the Nepalese flank, before retreating 200m below the summit (see AAJ 2004, p. 426). It is not clear whether the 2006 ascensionists followed this route.
Tamotsu Nakamura, Editor, Japanese Alpine News