Asia, Bhutan, Jichu Drake, or Tsherim Kang

Publication Year: 1984.

Jichu Drake, or Tsherim Kang. Although our permission was for a 7000-meter peak, on the summit our altimeter showed about 6800 meters. (In communication with the Editor, Bhutanese authorities gave the altitude as 6790 meters or 22,277 feet.—Editor.) The southwest ridge seemed the best way. We placed Base Camp at 14,100 feet and Camp I at the foot of the ridge at 15,750 feet. From there it took hard work chopping steps in the ice and climbing UIAA Grade-IV rock to reach Camp II at 18,375 feet. The ice above Camp II on the knife-edged ridge, which was up to 70°, was the most difficult part of the climb. Finally on May 15, after eight days, at 20,000 feet we could set up a tiny tent on an ice ledge hacked on the crest of the exposed ridge as Camp III. As time was running out and because of a lack of tent space, Werner Sucher, Albert Egger and Alois Stuckler advanced and bivouacked at 21,325 feet. These three, together with Sepp Mayerl and Toni Ponholzer, who had climbed from Camp III, reached the summit on May 17 in bad weather. It snowed nearly every afternoon during the 21 days we were on the mountain. The other members of the expedition were Albert Precht, Dr. Herbert Ortner, Walter Petodnig, Albert Fellinger and I as leader.

Eduard Ratheiser, Österreichischer Alpenverein