Asia, Nepal, Ama Dablam, Southeast Face

Publication Year: 1995.

Ama Dablam, Southeast Face. Sergei Bogomolov, Dmitri Botov, Sergei Golubtsov and I climbed a new route on Ama Dablam in pure alpine-style with no fixed camps, no fixed rope and no Sherpa porters. We placed Base Camp on the Nare Glacier at 5300 meters. The route lay through steep ice couloirs on the right side of the southeast face. At 6300 meters, these couloirs led onto the east ridge, which we followed to the summit. Because of the steepness of the route, we had to use ice screws the whole time. The east ridge presented great problems because of unstable cornices. Our first bivouac on April 21 was in a couloir at 5600 meters on a narrow ice ledge where we could barely set up a tent. The next was on a steep ice rise at 6100 meters, also under poor conditions. Bivouac 3 was on a narrow ice ridge at 6300 meters. From there on, one of our members began suffering from hepititis, but he did not quit. Bivouac 4 was on a very steep ice slope at 6400 meters and Bivouac 5 in a snow cave at 6600 meters. We were held up at Bivouac 6 at 6700 meters near the summit rise for two days because of bad weather. On April 28, all four of us reached the summit. The weather was bad during the whole ascent and we could move effectively only for two or three hours each morning before it began to snow. Under more favorable weather conditions, the climb could be done faster. By the time we reached the top, our food and fuel had run out and the weather became worse. The descent down our ascent route took two days. Avalanches of fresh snow come down along the entire face and we were struck several times. Once, it was solely an ice screw that prevented our being swept away.

Vladimir Bashkirov, Russia