Home page Planetmountain.com
Chamlang NW Face: Zdeněk Hák on the summit ridge. After 4 bivies he reached the 7321m high summit with Márek Holeček on 21 May 2019, and the duo required a further two bivies to descend safely off the mountain
Photo by archive Márek Holeček
Chamlang NW Face: Márek Holeček seconding Zdeněk Hák. 'We packed a small bivi tent, one 80m 7mm rope, 6 ice screws, 5 pitons and 5 friends. We also added food supply for five days plus 3 gas cartridges along with the necessary dose of good fortune into our backpacks.'
Photo by archive Márek Holeček
Zdeněk Hák and Márek Holeček on the summit of Chamlang after having climbed the NW Face. 'We have agreed that this is the hardest climb we have done together in the mountains, ABO in other words.'
Photo by archive Márek Holeček
The NW Face of Chamlang climbed alpine style with 6 bivouacs by Márek Holeček and Zdeněk Hák
Photo by archive Márek Holeček

Chamlang UFO Line: Márek Holeček reports of alpine style first ascent in Nepal

di

Czech mountaineer Márek Holeček reports about his alpine style ascent, carried out with climbing partner Zdeněk Hák of the virgin NW Face of Chamlang (7321 m) in the Nepalese Himalaya. The new climb has been called UFO Line and is described as 'the hardest climb we have done together in the mountains.'

On 23 May 2019 Zdeněk Hák and I completed the first ascent of the north-west face of Chamlang (7321 m), a face that in the past had been attempted unsuccessfully by many other expeditions. The summit of Chamlang overlooks the Hongu valley, two thousand meters above the valley floor, and it rises steeply from the glacial moraine and its lake, making it feel more like a solitary giant rather than an integral part of the central Himalayan ridge with numerous other summits. For nearly twenty years I kept this goal in mind, however it was finally realised only this year.

On arrival there were several obvious problems we had to cope with. The vertical face offered no obvious lines of weakness and we were certain that we would have to deal with some very hard mixed sections as well as pure rock and ice. The other objective danger was the lack of natural shelter spots on the face that could be used during adverse weather conditions. Similarly, from below good bivi spots also seemed very rare. This made a clear message – we have to climb fast, with the help of God Almighty. The last unanswered question we had to think about was the descent, how to get down from the summit. No prospective descent route offered an easy retreat.

On 16 May we crossed the glacier and spent a night right at the foot of the climb. The next dawn found us tackling the first metres up the route. We packed a small bivi tent, one 80m 7mm rope, 6 ice screws, 5 pitons and 5 friends. We also added food supply for five days plus 3 gas cartridges along with the necessary dose of good fortune into our backpacks.

The following days turned out to be the true picture of our imagination. Loose rock on the lower part was followed by hard mixed climbing and concrete-like ice. Bivouacs gradually got worse the higher we got, providing space for about half a body, while we needed to seat our two butts there.

On 20 May we reached the top of the face and traversed the entire summit ridge, including the main summit on 21 May. The last two and a half days of descent resulted in a hard fight to return amongst the living. The dangerous ridge and a steep icefall cost us a lot of energy and nerves. We ran out of food and both our bodies and minds felt really worn out and fatigued.

Finally on 23 May we returned to below the face once again, having completed what we believe is a great climbing feat. A childhood dream was fulfilled.

We returned to base camp with no one waiting for us, no celebrating crowds whatsoever, just one pack of dehydrated food in a single tent. The next day we loaded our base camp belongings onto our sore backs and crossed the Mera La Pass towards civilization. This was the end.

We named the climb UFO Line, to commemorate the ascent of Reinhold Messner and Doug Scott who supposedly saw UFO during their ascent of Chamlang… Who knows what it was they really saw. Well, I know I saw an alien climbing alongside me all the time, namely "Hook", ie my climbing partner Zdeněk Hák ;-)

We have agreed that this is the hardest climb we have done together in the mountains, ABO in other words. It really is our most difficult ascent ever, and we believe it is of international importance.

by Márek Holeček

Links: FB Marek HolecekMammut

Share


NEWS / Related news:
Chamlang NW Face climbed by Márek Holeček and Zdeněk Hák
23.05.2019
Chamlang NW Face climbed by Márek Holeček and Zdeněk Hák
Czech mountaineers Marek Holeček and Zdeněk Hák have climbed a new route up the NW Face of Chamlang in Nepal.
Piolets d’Or 2018 ceremony in Poland / Report and photos
12.10.2018
Piolets d’Or 2018 ceremony in Poland / Report and photos
Complete report and photographs of the Piolets d’Or 2018, the prestigious annual mountaineering award celebrated from 20 - 23 September at Ladek Zdrój in Poland.
Márek Holeček and Zdeněk Hák climb new route up Kyajo Ri in Nepal
24.08.2018
Márek Holeček and Zdeněk Hák climb new route up Kyajo Ri in Nepal
Climbing in alpine style from 25 to 28 May 2018, the Czech mountaineers Marek Holeček and Zdeněk Hák made the first ascent of Lapse of Reason, a new route up Kyajo Ri (6186 m) in Nepal.
Piolets d'Or 2018: Gasherbrum I, Shispare, Nilkanth win, Nilkanth and Alex Honnold receive special mention
02.08.2018
Piolets d'Or 2018: Gasherbrum I, Shispare, Nilkanth win, Nilkanth and Alex Honnold receive special mention
Three ascents have been selected for the Piolets d'Or 2018: Gasherbrum I climbed by Zdeněk Hák and Marek Holeček, Shispare climbed by Kazuya Hiraide and Kenro Nakajima and Nuptse NW climbed by Frédéric Degoulet, Benjamin Guigonnet and Hélias Millerioux. Special mentions have been awarded for the ascent of Nilkanth by Chantel Astorga, Anne Gilbert Chase and Jason Thompson and also to Alex Honnold for his outstanding contribution to climbing in the year 2017. Andrej Štremfelj to receive the Lifetime Achievement Award.
Antarctica first ascent / Marek Holeček and Míra Dub battle Bloody Nose up Monte Pizduch
14.05.2018
Antarctica first ascent / Marek Holeček and Míra Dub battle Bloody Nose up Monte Pizduch
On Winkle Island, Antarctica, Marek Holeček and Míra Dub made the alpine style first ascent of Bloody Nose up the hitherto unclimbed Monte Pizduch located in the Mount Wheat massif. Carried out from 6 - 7 January 2018, the Czech mountaineers climbed alpine style for 33 hours, breached difficulties up to M4/WI5+, 95° and crossed four individual summits. Holeček, who climbed a new route up the Southwest Face of Gasherbrum I (8080 m) in 2017, provides the report.
Gasherbrum I SW Face, big new route by Marek Holeček and Zdeněk Hák
11.08.2017
Gasherbrum I SW Face, big new route by Marek Holeček and Zdeněk Hák
The report by Czech mountaineer Marek Holeček who with Zdeněk Hák established over 8 days a great new route up the Southwest Face of Gasherbrum I (8080 meters), Karakorum.

SEARCH news

ZONE

CATEGORY

Full text search

AUTHOR

EXPO / Products
EXPO / Company News
Planetmountain.com logo
Planetmountain.com is updated daily: news, rock climbing, walks, trekking, alpinism, freeride skiing, ski mountaineering, snowboarding and ice climbing on the mountains worldwide. Furthermore, climbing techniques explained, gear & book reviews, expert advice, mountain photography, interviews and competition reports.
NEWSLETTER

Subscriber to receive the weekly newsletter with all the latest news from planetmountain.com

CLASSIFIEDS
Recent Comments Ice
  • Distensione
    Via sportiva molto bella, dalla linea logica, in ambiente su ...
    2017-09-14 / Michele Lucchini
  • L'uomo Volante
    Il 10 giugno 2017, insieme all'amico Michele, decidiamo di r ...
    2017-07-12 / Enrico Maioni
  • Gallo George
    Il 16 luglio 2016, invogliati dalla relazione, ci siamo avve ...
    2017-07-12 / Enrico Maioni
  • All-in
    Francesco Salvaterra e Filippo Mosca 27 gennaio 2017, probab ...
    2017-02-02 / Francesco Salvaterra