BD athlete Simon Anthamatten makes first ascent of south face of Jasemba
A couple months ago, Black Diamond athlete Simon Anthamatten teamed up with his brother, Samuel, and fellow Swiss mountain guide Michael Lerjen to make the first ascent of the south face of Jasemba on the border of China and Nepal. Simon sent us the following email and stunning photos shortly upon his safe return.
On Thursday, October 29 at 2.30 pm we stand on the summit of 7350m high Jasemba. Michi, Samuel and I. Somehow, joy doesn't really come up. Jasemba hasn't got a sloping backside—similar to the Matterhorn, once you reach the summit, you are only halfway through. The same evening we made it back to 6900 meters and the other day we were back at BC. It took 25 abseils on v-threads, Stoppers, Camalots, a buried ice axe and a buried trekking pole segment to descend Jasemba.
Exhausted and very much relieved, we are now back at BC.
We start on October 25. After a 5-hour trek over the disrupted glacier of Somna we reach the foot of the wall at 5800 meters. The following day we move on fast. A little bit of ice climbing and then snow trudgeing. Almost high-spirited we place our tent on a snow mushroom. Height: 6500 meters. We sleep tied in. The following day the passages become very insidious. Snow mushrooms as big as cars or trucks and in between steep ice walls got in our way. While climbing in the ice, we were able to belay very well with our ice screws. But once you stand in bottomless snow you can only move forward like a vole, without any useful belay. We asked ourselves what this had to do with climbing. Our nerves were on the edge, because you move on one step and then you fall back two. With a day performance of "only" 400 meters of altitude we are pretty exhausted at our bivouac at 6900 meters. A gap in a snow mushroom gives just as much space for our two-man tent. You can imagine how uncomfortable this night was for the three of us. The height and the efforts of the past three days did not increase our morale for a summit attempt. A 150-meter high barrier of rock with vertical passages and another 300 meters of snow trudgeing demanded everything from us. Thanks to our great team spirit and our motivation we made it to the summit.
With our first ascent on the south face of Jasemba, the mountain has been ascended for the first time also in the alpine style.
See you soon,