Practicing our snow-swimming-on-slabs skills while getting used to the altitude.
We were standing on the false summit of Lobuche East just as the sun was threatening to come up and provide some much needed warmth. I was trying to look mean... We simul-soloed the ridge without using the fixed lines. Our decision not to continue to the true summit allowed for a more interesting traverse when we climbed the SW face.
Descending the Normal Route, Lobuche East. Our high point on this first attempt was the second sunlight false summit from the right. It took us about 8 hours to traverse the ridge when we climbed the SW face...
That's me attached to the headlamp out there. This was the final alpine ice traverse to the weakness on the Southwest Face of Lobuche East.
These are the opening mixed pitches that granted us access to the upper water ice.
Topping out the first bit of WI 5+. Nice lead Jared!!!
I kept the down jacket on for this belay, not because it was cold, but because there was no where to hide from the assault from falling ice. When will clothing manufacturers realize that we need padded shoulders too?
This was the final water ice pitch. Fortunately it had been baking in the sun for a few hours!! The biggest challenge was the section just above where I am now in the picture. The ice all but disappeared and revealed the chossy weak rock below.
That's me coaxing the stove to make some water at 19,800ft. after climbing a lot and drinking a little.
Ben, Kevin, and Freddie tagged the bar saying, "Snow climbing sucks Bullocks." Jared tagged just left of theirs.
Big THANKS to Jared for sending me some of his photos and allowing us to post them.