Tawoche (6495m), Khumbu Himal Nepal

After instructing at the Khumbu Climbing School's 2007 session, fellow instructors Adam Knoff, Whit Magro, Ross Lynn and I made the first winter ascent, by an independent variation (1300m 5.9 AI2), of Tawoche's East Ridge.

The rocky east ridge of Tawoche snakes to the glaciated upper section of the mountain.  Climbing in teams of two, we soloed, simul-climbed, and pitched the 1,000m rock ridge, which offered everything from loose scree slopes to dazzling pitches of 5.9 climbing in mountain boots. We bivied at the top of the rock ridge. Above the bivouac lay 500m of 70 degree ice and ridge climbing to the summit. (Whit Magro)

The trip ended with unseasonable snowfall, dumping over a meter of snow in the Khumbu range.  The storm closed the Lukla runway and in order to catch our flights out of Kathmandu we had to rally the town and spent two full days shoveling the half kilometer long runway.

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