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Chomo-Lonzo: Second new route on the North summit!
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May 17, 2005 10: 19 EST
Stéphane Benoist and Patrick Glairon-Rappaz reached the North summit of Chomo-Lonzo (7,199 m) yesterday via a new and direct route on the west face of the mountain.

The guys accomplished the climb in alpine style, starting last Saturday from 6000m and setting up a camp at 6,700m that night. On Sunday they resumed the climb and set their next camp at 7,000 m, near the ridge between the North and Central Chomo Lonzo summits. They reached the North summit yesterday around 6 PM, local time.

Still up there

The summit team spent the night on a ledge slightly below the summit. Today they planned to descend via the NW ridge, through the route opened last week by their teammates Trommsdorff, Graziani, and Wagnon. The weather is clear with moderate winds, according to FFME.

The route was climbed without any previous exploratory trips, fixed ropes or established camps. The climbers had to overcome difficult sections such as vertical ice gullies and exposed mixed pitches.

Team work

The nine-member French team split up in groups to attempt several routes on the previously unclimbed North summit of Chomo-Lonzo, a subsidiary peak of Makalu. Their next goal is the virgin summit of Chomo Lonzo central, a feat that the Trommsdorff, Graziani, and Wagnon team may attempt this weekend.

Under the leadership of Christophe Moulin of the FFME, 7 mountaineers have been chosen to compete on two virgin summits of Chomo-Lonzo, a satellite of Makalu. Chomo-Lonzo's main summit (7,790 m) was first climbed in 1954 by Lionel Terray and Jean Couzy as a pre-climb for Makalu. The central summit (7,540 m) and the NW summit (7,195 m) have never been climbed.

The expedition members are: Patrick Wagnon, Christian Trommsdorff, Yannick Graziani, Christophe Moulin, Stephan Benoist, Patrice Glairon-Rappaz, Yann Bonneville and Aymeric Clouet.

Image of Chomo-Lonzo, courtesy of Tibet-travels.com.

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