American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Asia, Russia, Caucasus, Swiss Expedition

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 1934

Swiss Expedition. Four members of the Alpine Ski-club Zürich and the S. A. C. with a subvention from the latter club made a mountaineering trip in the Caucasus this past summer. Under the leadership of Paul Bühler, Walter Rickenbach, Lorenz Saladin, and Werner Weckert set out on June 18th, 1933, to make a number of climbs in the Bezingi and Adai-Khoh groups. They were joined by Otto Furrer, who, however, became ill and remained in hospital at Naltshik. Leaving this town on June 30th they went in via Balkar and Karaulka. On July 2nd they attempted to cross the Shtulu Pass but found it impossible for pack animals on account of snow. They set up a base camp and made an attempt on Sugantau which was frustrated by bad weather after a night in an ice cave. On July 7th they planned to traverse Doppachtau, Suganbashitau and Sugantau. They reached the summit of Doppachtau at 6.00 p.m. in cloud and snow and in descending, Bühler, who was the last man on the second rope, called for the rope to use as a rappel but at this juncture must have slipped as he fell and disappeared from sight. The other three were forced by the weather to bivouac shortly afterward but descended the next day and found the body on the glacier where they buried it at a height of 4,200 m. In spite of this mishap, the rest of the party afterward crossed the range and effected fourth ascent of Ushba.

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