American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Chugimago North, West Face; Chekigo, South Face (No Summit)

Nepal, Rolwaling Himal

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Author: Lindsay Griffin
  • Climb Year: 2014
  • Publication Year: 2015

Paula Alegre (Argentina) and Oriol Baro (Spain) went to the Rolwaling in October with a raft of photos but no clear plans. They left with two new lines, one of them to a previously virgin summit. Alegre and Baro first cast their eyes over the south side of the Rolwaling, where they spotted an unclimbed sub-summit of Chugimago, a peak of 5,945m that is best described as Chugimago North. Starting more or less in the middle of the west face, the couple slanted left through the initial rock barrier before ascending steep but relatively straightforward snow to reach the north ridge via a short section of mixed. An airy but easy crest led to the summit.

They descended most of the north ridge before downclimbing and making five rappels along the northern edge of the west face. The round trip from the base of the wall took 12 hours. Baro suffered from slight edema during the outing, with a swollen face, so the pair named their 700m line Infleti (TD).

Now acclimatized, Alegre and Baro moved to the north side of the valley for a crack at the previously unclimbed south face of Chekigo (6,257m). From the lowest point in the center of the face, they slanted left up a snow ramp to reach a depression between two vague spurs. Gaining the depression via an icefall, they climbed a dozen long pitches, steep with some mixed, to reach the west ridge. Unconsolidated snow on the ridge prompted them to stop at ca 6,150m, a few hundred meters from the top. They made a rappel descent into the wide snow couloir between Chekigo and its smaller western sub-summit Chekigo Sano, and then followed this down to the glacier and their high camp. The round trip had taken 15 hours, and the incomplete 1,050m route was named Sopeti (TD+/ED1).

Lindsay Griffin

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