www.explorersweb.com [everest] [K2] [oceans] [poles] [space] [tech] [weather] [statistics] [medical] [SPANISH] Some text

Melungtse: Climbers back in BC after 12 hours of rappelling
image story

May 23, 2005 09: 52 EST
Last week, climbers on Melungtse were forced to turn back on the mountain’s unclimbed North face due to Yuri Koshelenko’s illness. The Russian was experiencing acute back pain – which is an indication of pulmonary edema – as well as nausea and numbness in the limbs. The team had already climbed the wall section of the route, and all that remained was the summit ridge to reach the peak.

Resting was not enough

They rested in their tent for one day, hoping that Yuri would recover. Afterwards, they tried to resume the climb, but after a few pitches Koshelenko couldn’t take it any longer. The decision was immediately made to turn around and climb down the wall: It took them 12 hours of rappelling to get back to the base.

The climbers are still in BC, waiting for the porters - expected tomorrow – to retrieve their gear before starting the trek back.

American Carlos Buhler and Russians Yuri Koshelenko and Nikolay Totmyanin had already climbed the wall section of the route they were opening on the yet unclimbed Melungtse North Face. It took them five days on the wall, 31 pitches (60 m each), overcoming difficulty levels up to 6B+ (Russian grade), and an epic night on a 40 cm-wide ice ledge.

American Carlos Buhler joined Russians Yuri Koshelenko and Nikolay Totmyanin for an Alpine style expedition on Melungtse’s North Face. Koshelenko wanted to prove that Russians are not just bold and determined ‘heavy style’ expeditioneers, but can also show their colors in pure alpine style.

The first ascent on Melungtse Main was made in 1992 by Slovenians Andrej Stremfelj and Marco Prezlj through the South-East Face. American Carlos Buhler made the first attempt on the North Face in 1999, and reached 5800 m.

Melungtse faces Nepal’s Rolwaling Valley to the south, and Rongshar in Tibet to the north. This is a totally isolated area, with no trace of civilization.

Carlos Buhler (Bozeman, Montana) is a major name in American climbing history. He has been climbing since the seventies and is still fully active. He draws from experience gained on thirty-four expeditions all around the world. In 1983, he climbed to the summit of Mt. Everest with the American team that made the first ascent of the Kangshung (East) Face from Tibet. His climbing resume includes: Ama Dablam NE face (1985), Changabang North face (1998), Kangchenjunga North ridge (1988), Cho Oyu Polish route on the W ridge in Alpine style, Dhaulagiri, Dorje Lhakpa NE ridge, K2 north ridge, Nanga Parbat and innumerable rock and ice first-line routes.

Yuri Koshelenko has been awarded the Piolet d’Or for the first ascent of Nuptse East, along with Valeri Babanov. Koshelenko was also a member of the Russian team that opened a new route on the center of Everest’s North face last year. Nikolay Totmyanin was also awarded the Piolet d’Or: He was part of the team that completed the first climb on Jannu’s North face. Both climbs also won awards for the Best of ExplorersWeb expeditions in 2004.

Image of Yuri, Carlos and Nikolay in Kathmandu prior to departure for Tibet, courtesy of Mountain.ru.

Feature Stories Latest News more news

1. Magic Line   
2. Russian Jannu Exp.   
Jannu North Face
3. Over Everest - Richard
      Over Everest - Angelo   
Everest Ultra light
4. Dominick Arduin   
North Pole
5. Spaceship One   
6. Central North Wall   
Mount Everest
7. Russian Extreme Pr.    
Amin Brakk BASE jump
8. Fiona & Rosie    
South Pole

Special mention:

Edurne Pasaban
Juanito Oiarzabal

Henk De Velde
North West Passage

Pavel Rezvoy

Nawang Sherpa

The Spirit of Adventure

Mount Everest Expeditions  •  Mount Everest Technology  •  Mount Everest Weather  •  Mount Everest Medical  •  Mount Everest Guide  •  Mount Everest News  Mount Everest Video  •  Mount Everest Trekking Agencies  •  Mount Everest Climbing Permits#8226;  Mount Everest Statistics  •  Mount Everest Expedition List  •  Mount Everest Resources  •  Mount Everest Community