American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Asia, Nepal, Mahalangur Himal - Khumbu Section, Kyashar (6,770m), South Pillar, Attempt

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 2009

Kyashar (6,770m), south pillar, attempt. The final part of our Devoid Triple North Walls project was supposed to be a return to Talung in the Kangchenjunga massif. [Editor’s note: Their 2008 new routes on Kapura, in Pakistan, and on Uparisina, in Afghanistan, are reported elsewhere.] In 2004 Jan Doudlebsky, Tomas Rinn, and I attempted a new route on Talung’s northwest pillar, but had to retreat due to my frostbitten feet. In 2008 we had to scrap this plan because of low funds. Our alternative was Kyashar, where the score was one-all. In 2001 I had attempted the south pillar with David Stastny, and in 2005 climbed a new route with Jan up the middle of the southwest face to join the west ridge at 6,500m, at which point we descended. It was time for another attempt on the south pillar.

On October 13 we established base camp at the foot of Kyashar. Ice conditions in the lower amphitheater were not promising, but the section above the col that we gained in 2001 looked better. On the 15th we started up the west flank of the pillar and crossed a vertical ice curtain. We then traversed left across the first snowfield, below occasional steep ice streaks, and gained the second snowfield. Next came an exposed, rising rightward traverse to reach the col. The bivouac was comfortable and afforded an amazing view of sunset over Makalu. To this point we had overcome difficulties of WI6 and M7. The following day Jan’s tendons were inflamed, dictating another retreat. We rappeled 800m to the tent and closed the year’s exploration of Asian mountains.

Marek Holecek, Czech Republic

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