Erstbegehung der Nordwestwand
Too much snow - preventing a successful ascent
On 26 October 2011, we set off from Chukhung to our base camp. The weather was good, but it looked like very strong winds on the summits, which gave us cause to think. On arrival at the base camp, we put up our tent and were soon tucked up in our sleeping bags.
We were wakened by our alarm around midnight and got ready to set off. Our aim was to climb the north-west wall of Baruntse in one day and then to come back down via the summit on the second day.
We made good progress in the first two hours, although the fresh snow from 21 October was clearly noticeable. The higher we climbed, the deeper the snow that we had to make our way through. This continued until we were sinking almost up to our hips in soft snow. Combined with the strong wind, in the end these high volumes of snow were too dangerous. We both decided to make our way back down the lower section of the wall without attempting to reach the summit.
Back at the bottom, we were tortured by the question of whether we had made the right decision. However, we are both convinced that we did the right thing. The wind and increasing cloud cover over the next few days also confirmed our decision.
The expedition was still a success, despite the fact that we did not manage to complete our Mammut 150th anniversary summit project. Our thoughts have already turned to new plans and ideas for the future.
Seven days after our departure from Switzerland on 4 October 2011, we reached our starting point in Chukhung 4,800 metres above sea level. Despite passing through so many transit points, our luggage was actually there before us. We would never have believed it!
During the following week up to 21 October 2011, we acclimatised around Chukhung. If you thank that 6,000 metres feels high, Lhotse towering up at 8,516 metres in the background makes you think again. Our project, the north-west wall of Baruntse, is almost right in front of the door and impressed us from the very start. Our idea is to climb a new line in the middle of the wall. The wall is around 1,500 metres high here and ends at just under 7,000 metres. We then aim to reach the summit via the ridge. The weather was perfect up until 21 October 2011. Unfortunately it then snowed that morning, forcing us to wait for a while. However, the weather god seems set to smile on us again over the next few days and we are planning an attempt on the wall around 26 October 2011. If possible, we will continue to keep you posted and hope everyone has a good time. We’re going climbing… (-;
Two Swiss mountaineers on the North West Face of Baruntse
The Eiger North Face record holder and Mammut Proteam athlete Dani Arnold is setting out with his climbing partner Stephan Ruoss to climb the 7,168 metre Baruntse in Nepal. As part of Mammut’s biggest peak project in history, the two Swiss climbers will attempt a first ascent of the 2,000 metre North West Face. They aim to reach the summit between Everest and Makalu in alpine style.
On 4 October 2011, they will start their journey to the Himalayas. Before their departure, Dani Arnold said: “It will be a real adventure!”
We are crossing our fingers hard for the successful outcome of their adventure. We will keep you updated here on the latest progress of this project. So stay tuned!