American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Changla (6,563m), Southwest Face of North-Northwest Ridge, then North Face

Asia, Nepal, Humla Region, Changla Himal

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Author: Elizabeth Hawley
  • Climb Year: N/A
  • Publication Year: 2011

Changla (6,563m), southwest face of north-northwest ridge, then north face. Uncertain of the best line to take on unclimbed Changla, Hirofumi Kobayashi (leader), Seiya Nakasukasa, Yuta Shibayama, and Naoki Yamaguchi approached up the Chula Khola, which descends from the 5,293m Changla La on the Tibetan border north-northwest of the mountain. They made base camp at 4,700m, and then from a higher, temporary camp spent four–five days observing the southwest face of the long north-northwest ridge rising from the Changla La. Their decision was to climb directly to the crest of this ridge, then move onto the north face, ascending this to the northeast ridge.

Bad weather kept them in base camp until September 21. Without Sherpa support they made Camp 1 that day at 5,500m and, on the 22nd, started work on the mixed rock and ice face leading to the crest of the ridge. On the 26th they established Camp 2 at a 6,090m col on this ridge.

At 4 a.m. on the 27th the four left Camp 2 for a summit push. The weather was excellent, with neither cloud nor wind. Moving left, they climbed the icy north face for 300m to the crest of the northeast ridge, not far from the summit. On this section they fixed the only rope of the entire ascent. All four reached the summit at 11:40 a.m.

The return to Camp 2 was long because they decided to descend the fluted northeast ridge until it was easy to gain the glacier to the left. Then they walked southwest up the glacier and finally climbed back onto the north-northwest ridge, regaining camp at 11:30 p.m.

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