The upper portion of the route on Chomo Lhari’s Northwest Pillar, with bivouac sites marked. Photo courtesy of Marko Prezelj
Marko Prezelj and Boris Lorencic capped an extremely successful Slovenian expedition to the Tibet-Bhutan frontier by climbing the spectacular Northwest Pillar of Chomo Lhari (ca. 24,000 feet). The expedition also climbed a 6,000-foot snow and ice couloir on the north wall of Chomo Lhari, left of the pillar, as well as 22,000-foot Jangmo Gopsha.
Climbing with Boris Lorencic, Prezelj led every pitch of the 6,000-foot Northwest Pillar, which they completed in a six-day round trip from base camp. “The climbing was mixed and quite serious,” Prezelj wrote in an email. “It is difficult to grade a route where conditions are changing from day to day, but I dare to grade the most difficult sections M6+ (M7?).” However, he added, the difficulties of the climb came less from pure technical difficulty and more from route finding and high winds, which stripped about a foot of well-consolidated snow from the buttress during their climb. “It was a serious climb where logistics and choices of the tactics were probably more important than just ‘difficult moves of the body,’” Prezelj explained. Because their intended descent route via the South Ridge was too dangerous, the pair took two days to rappel and downclimb the buttress, where at least they had already laboriously chopped bivouac sites.
Meanwhile, Roc Blagus, Tine Cuder, Matej Kladnik, and Samo Krmelj climbed a steep couloir on the left side of the North Face. They tagged the summit and descended their route, completing a four-day round trip from base camp.
Dates of Ascents: North Face of Chomo Lhari, summit reached October 14, 2006; Northwest Pillar of Chomo Lhari, summit reached October 16, 2006
Source: Marko Prezelj