Summiting Lobuche: A step-by-step account

by Didrik Johnck

Chad Jukes. Photo by Didrik Johnck.

October 15, 2010 LOBUCHE HIGH CAMP – Decision was made to divide the group into two teams to synchronize summit times relative to climbing speeds. The mountain is divided into two distinct sections. The first half is rock slabs while the second half is steep snow and ice.

Team Alpha: Brad Bull, Steve Baskis, Sherman Bull, Erik Weihenmayer, Jeff Evans, Kami Tenzing, Ashley Crandall, Cody Miranda, Catherine Raggazino (Rizzo), Michael Brown, Rex Pemberton, and Didrik Johnck

Team Bravo (aka: Ramrod) – Charley Mace, Matt Nyman, Matt Murray Luis Benitez, Ike Isaacson, Dan Sidles, Kevin Cherilla, Chris Morris, Nico Maroulis, Chad Jukes, Chad Butrick, Brian Mockenhaupt

12am – wakeup call for Team A. Rizzo is not feeling well and decides not to climb. Cody stays behind to support Rizzo.

1:15am – Team A departs high camp (17,000 feet). Ashley is not feeling well and turns around shortly after departure.

2am – Team B wakeup call.

3am – Team B departs high camp.

5am – Didrik, Erik, Kami reach snow line (18,200 feet).

5:30am – Rest of team A arrives at snow line.

5:45-6am – Snow line reached by Team B.

8am – Teams merge at ice chute 400-500 feet below summit.

8:15 – Erik and Kami arrive summit (20,075 feet).

8:45 – Michael Brown arrives summit.

9-9:30 – Rest of team summits.

10:30 – 11am – Team begins staggered descent off summit.

Noon – Team begins staggered arrival back at snow line. Sherpas and porters are waiting with hot drinks.

After a rest, team begins staggered departure down the rock slabs.

12:30pm – Brad, Sherman, Jeff, Didrik, depart snow for rock slabs. Sherman is experiencing profound fatigue and is short-roped by Jeff and assisted by two Sherpas.

1:45 – Murray, Brown, Jukes, Rex are 1st climbers to arrive back at high camp.

2:30 – Nyman, who is being short-roped by Charley, shows signs of cerebral edema. Jeff begins radio calls to Kevin in high camp to prep treatment options.

4pm –Didrik, Jeff, Nyman, Morris, Mace are last climbers to arrive at base camp.

Rest of day/night is spent eating, hydrating, sleeping and treating Nyman’s cerebral edema.

Soldier Justin Moore – Justin joined the expedition after the Colorado snow and ice training in August. As such he was not adequately trained for the conditions that would be encountered on Lobuche. Justin instead climbed to the rocky, pinnacled summit of Kala Pattar at over 18,000 feet on the same day the other soldiers were on Lobuche. Climbing rock at over 18,000 feet is no easy task and the entire team salutes his accomplishment.

The team cruising along the lower snowfields. Photo by Didrik Johnck.

The team cruising along the lower snowfields. Photo by Didrik Johnck.

Ike Isaacson. Photo by Didrik Johnck.

Ike Isaacson. Photo by Didrik Johnck.

Soldiers to the Summit team photo on summit of Lobuche. Photo by Didrik Johnck.

Soldiers to the Summit team photo on summit of Lobuche. Photo by Didrik Johnck.

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