American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Chulu West, West Ridge, Attempt

Nepal, Damodar Himal

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Author: Lindsay Griffin
  • Climb Year: 2017
  • Publication Year: 2018

In October, Germans André Günzel, Manuel Möller, and Jürgen Schütz attempted the unclimbed west ridge of Chulu West (6,419m), generally accepted to be one of the more difficult trekking peaks. On the 19th they gained the ridge at a rocky tower. Above, a good névé slope led to a sharp ridge (about as wide as their two feet together), and beyond that a broad slope of around 45° with a few crevasses, two of which had to be skirted on the left. Möller stopped at 5,700m, while Günzel and Schütz, with Pasang Gomba and Dawa Gyalje, continued to about 5,850m.

At this point they joined the southwest ridge [also thought to be unclimbed], but found the crest ahead very narrow. To continue they would have needed to fix 300m of rope along the crest, which was double corniced. As this would have taken more time than available, they retreated, having climbed 900m from the glacier (55° maximum). They reached camp 11 hours after setting out. On the 21st, the full team was able to climb the normal route (north ridge) to the summit.

– Information supplied by Rodolphe Popier, Himalayan Database, and Stefan Nestler, Germany

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