We found ourselves again in the Gokyo Resort lodge resting, and enjoying the Sun while making plans...
We still have got a few days to go and as we have a cook and a camp available the first idea that comes up into our minds is the english route on Mount Cholatse.
We organise all the team so that we would reach the base camp after 2 days. But in our minds the fun and the joy of discovering new walls and opening new routs is to big to let it go and without saying a word we both dream the "triplet"!
On the way up to Gokyo we slept in Machermo village where it is impossible to miss the NOrth face of Kajo Ri.
Last year i had long admired this wall and dreamt of climbing it.
While sitting in the Sun the mind goes flying and as Nik says the word "Machermo" i immeditely answer "Yes, let's go"! That's what i like climbing with him, everything comes natural in the mountains....at the base as on the route.
We are ready to attack the wall tomorrow, the porters will help us out till the base and than we'll start the climb.
I shall say that we had two go before making it to the top.
The first attempt was ment to be from the easiest way, through a waterfall that climbs under the huge serac and reaches the upper slope.
The plan is to start in the afternoon when the Sun turns behind the ridge and the way goes in the shade. So we did. The porters left us at the base around mid day. It was really funny looking at Saila who, after a small rock fall asked scared "can i go????".
We start the climb and the luck really doesn't seem to be with us. I reach the belay and Nik follows both with heavy backpacks with the stuff for three days. As he gets 20 m from me i hear him screaming not repeatable words...he had broken an ice axe!!!! damn!!!!
As i look at mine i had the handle broken as well!
The only smart thing to do is to go back. We load all the equipment on our back and slowly make our way down to the lodge.
Porters and guide laugh at us as we were expected three days later and we went back the same afternoon.
We are quite discouraged...i have ben in the Khumbu for three months, Nik for 20 days and already climbed 2 new routes. We have little energies left and not much time to go.
We stil have the camp set at the base of Cholatse, but also 2 broken axes...what to do????
An option would be to send super Khanchha to Namche and buy 2 axes but than who knows what he will bring back?!?!?!?!!
We don't want to give up, the wall is there, just 2h from us and we need to find a solution!
Making it short....some Duchtape and metal wire will fix both axes and after 2 days rest we are back at the base.
This time the logistic will change radically:
we set a small base camp at the base and we attack the rocky wall on the right of the serac so that we are much safer, but the rout will turn out much harder as well....
The goal is to start early in the morning (the rock is east facing) and reach the hanging glacier for the afternoon where we would set a intermediate camp.
The rocky section is very hard, especially with tent, sleeping bag and gear for 3 days. But we manage to climb a huge dihedral that leads to the upper mixes section.
Every 50 m we seem to see a nice ledge where to place our small tent, but every time it turns to be a crapy stone slope quite unconfortable. In the end we found a crevasse between rock and ice fairly sheltered that seems to be the best solution for the night....but without the tent!!!!
The next day we don't trust to leave with the dark as the glacier is very open. We enjoy the first Sun of the day while traversing this labyrinth leading to the upper section. As we are tired from the day before we decide to follow the most logical and quick line as posible not looking for extra difficulties which wouls make us slow and more tired.
The gully starts with an easy pitch that ends against an overhang. It is beautiful, elegant. I work my way over it and continue up on a wide gully reminding me of the Ginat route on the Droites.
After that nogthy section the gully becomes more gentle with short steep steps.
We continue logically along the couloir till a step ledge towards the right leading to the NW ridge.
It seems easy but it hides a difficult aid climbing step that engages me for more than one hours.
But after that rocky section we are quickly on the ridge that leads to the top in about 120m.
As we don't have much gear left for the descent and the Sun is setting we decide that the route will end there and we'll start the rappels.
We look forward to our "original" bivy and some food.
The morning after we complete the descent and we are back at the lodge for breakfast.
We most likely made the first ascent of the E and N face of the Kajo Ri. The internet research and the owner of the lodge confirmed that there have been many attempts but no previews success on this wall.
What a great adventure!!!!!!
la linea della salita
Nik sul secondo tiro del diedro
Nik sul terzo tiro del diedro iniziale
Enrico sul traverso del terzo tiro
Nik sul traverso esposto del terzo tiro
usciti dal diedro cerchiamo un posto per la tenda
bivacco comodo tra roccia e ghiaccio...
il mattino presto cercando la via migliore sul ghiacciaio
sul pendio iniziale della parte superiore
Nik sul primo tiro della goulotte
Enrico all'inizio del tiro di M6+
Nik mi raggiunge in sosta dopo il tiro di M6+
sembra di essere sulla Ginat alle Droites...
seguendo il logico couloir incassato
ambiente severo nella parte alta della via
alla fine della rampa...sorpresa!
un bel tiretto di artif conduce alla neve finale
in discesa all'imbrunire
contenti alla base della parete
la relazione della via!
grazie agli sponsors!!!!!!
ACCESS: easily from Lukla airport to Machermo village. Than up the moraine till the base.