Americans Climb Stunning Ice Line in Nepal

Spot the line! The new American route on the southwest face of Lobuje East (6,119m) ascends an ice runnel up the obvious huge corner. The rock buttress to the right has been climbed at least twice. Photo by Joel Kauffman, used with permission

12/20/10 - Joel Kauffman and Jared Vilhauer have made the first ascent of a beautiful ice runnel on the southwest face of Lobuje East (6,119m/20,075') in Nepal's Khumbu Himal. The two Americans climbed the new route in a 37-hour round trip from their high bivy and back to base camp.

After warming up with an ascent of the peak's normal route on the southeast ridge, the pair began their new route five days later with an M7 pitch on glacier-polished granite. Three pitches of simul-climbing gained the foot of the enormous corner system splitting the face. Kauffman said they climbed this in six pitches with a 70-meter rope, for about 1,000 feet of steep ice climbing up to WI5+ M5. Three traversing pitches, with a long tunneling section under the cornice, brought them to the northwest ridge, where they stopped for a brew after 27 hours on the go. They then continued up to the summit before descending the southeast ridge. They called the route Night Terror (VI WI5+ AI4 M7 85°).

See more photos from the climb at

Date of Ascent: November 2010

Sources: Joel Kauffman,,


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