New routes or not in the Khumbu?

Posted by Lindsay Griffin on 19/01/2010
Kyajo Ri from the east. John Kear

The Italian guide Enrico Bonino climbed a tremendous amount of technical new ground in Nepal's Khumbu region during late autumn, but several fine lines were not completed, bringing into question, once again, the difference between 'new routes' and 'valiant attempts'.

After climbing Lobuche and attempting Ama Dablam with a client, then with his girl friend ascending the fine 6,169m Nireka close to the Cho La, he teamed with fellow guide Nicolas Meli, and another good friend Francesco Cantu, for a series of attempts in the Gokyo region.

Trekking towards the Renjo Pass from Lungdhen Village in the Bhote Kosi, the three noticed a fine unclimbed North West Face on a peak referred to as Hama Yomjuna (5,970m), north of Teningbo.

Climbing from the 20th-22nd November, they overcame five pitches from F5a to M6, a further 300+m of snow and mixed, and then 12 pitches in the upper couloir at F4 to M7 with some bold ice pitches up to 5+.

After 1,100m of climbing the three arrived beneath an overhanging rock barrier 100m below the summit. Unfortunately, at this point one of the climbers dropped a rucksack. As a night out without bivouac gear was deemed unrealistic, the team abandoned the route and rappelled the face.

In 2008, with Stefano della Gasperina, Bonino attempted a gully on the flanks of Pt 5,850m, right of Dawa Peak and approached from the east side of the Renjo Pass. He returned on the 1st December with Meli and completed the line, reaching a small notch on the summit ridge just as the sun was setting, and then rappelling the route through the night.

The 600m line was named M'han dato 5 al Modulo di Misto and had difficulties of WI 6, M7 and A2. The two proposed the name Khanchaha for the small summit just above their high point.

The third climb took place from the 10th-11th December, when Bonino and Meli made a spirited attempt on the summit of Kyajo Ri (6,187m) via the North East Face.

A previous attempt to climb an icefall directly through the lower serac barrier, failed when an axe broke. On the second try the Italians avoided the serac by following the rock buttress to the right at 6b with a little A1.

Crossing the hanging glacier, they climbed the upper face, with one section reminiscent of the Ginat on Les Droites, to exit onto the (as far as is known) unclimbed North Ridge, 120m below the summit.

At this point it was getting late, and they were short on gear for rappel anchors, so they decided to call it a day and descend. The upper face had presented difficulties of M6+, WI 5+ and A2.

In a time of changing ethics, the Italians have given all three ascents route names. Most climbers still feel that in the high mountains a new route needs to reach a logical conclusion, whether that be, for example, the top of a wall, or a junction with an existing line. Many hold onto the ideal that in the Himalaya, the logical conclusion is still the summit.

In the photograph Bonino and Meli climbed the rock buttress right of the icefall below the hanging snowfield, crossed the big snowfield left and climbed the face to exit onto the right skyline some distance below the summit. The left skyline - South East Ridge - was climbed to the summit in 2005 by Seth Hobby and John Kear.



« Back

Post a comment Print this article

This article has been read 1746 times

TAGS

Click on the tags to explore more

RELATED ARTICLES

Join the Jonathan Conville Trust
0
Join the Jonathan Conville Trust

The Jonathan Conville Memorial Trust forward is seeking a new Trustee with social media and website expertise.
Read more »

BMC Expedition guidance 2021
0
BMC Expedition guidance 2021

Thinking of going abroad this year for that expedition of a lifetime but aren’t sure whether to go or not? The BMC has produced some brief points that will help guide your choices.
Read more »

The most impressive traverse ever completed?
0
The most impressive traverse ever completed?

Belgian climber Sean Villanueva O'Driscoll has been willingly stuck in Patagonia since Covid-19 kicked off, and making the most of it: jaws dropped around the climbing world when he became the first to solo the Fitz Roy Traverse late last week. This epic route, fantasised about by anyone who has ever seen a photo of the jagged skyline above El Chalten, was first completed by the dream simul-climbing team of Alex Honnold and Tommy Caldwell in 2014. The route traverses the iconic Cerro Fitz Roy and its six satellite peaks: 5km of ridge line with around 4000m of vertical gain.
Read more »

Post a Comment

Posting as Anonymous Community Standards
3000 characters remaining
Submit
Your comment has been posted below, click here to view it
Comments are currently on | Turn off comments
0

There are currently no comments, why not add your own?

RELATED ARTICLES

Join the Jonathan Conville Trust
0

The Jonathan Conville Memorial Trust forward is seeking a new Trustee with social media and website expertise.
Read more »

BMC Expedition guidance 2021
0

Thinking of going abroad this year for that expedition of a lifetime but aren’t sure whether to go or not? The BMC has produced some brief points that will help guide your choices.
Read more »

The most impressive traverse ever completed?
0

Belgian climber Sean Villanueva O'Driscoll has been willingly stuck in Patagonia since Covid-19 kicked off, and making the most of it: jaws dropped around the climbing world when he became the first to solo the Fitz Roy Traverse late last week. This epic route, fantasised about by anyone who has ever seen a photo of the jagged skyline above El Chalten, was first completed by the dream simul-climbing team of Alex Honnold and Tommy Caldwell in 2014. The route traverses the iconic Cerro Fitz Roy and its six satellite peaks: 5km of ridge line with around 4000m of vertical gain.
Read more »

BMC MEMBERSHIP
Join 82,000 BMC members and support British climbing, walking and mountaineering. Membership only £16.97.
Read more »
BMC SHOP
Great range of guidebooks, DVDs, books, calendars and maps.
All with discounts for members.
Read more »
TRAVEL INSURANCE
Get covered with BMC Insurance. Our five policies take you from the beach to Everest.
Read more »