Details of Swiss Ascent on Jasemba

Posted on: November 23, 2009

The south face of Jasemba (7350m), Nepalese Himalaya, showing the steep mixed line Hook or Crook (VI M5 90 degrees, 1600m) taken by Simon and Samuel Anthamatten and friend Michael Lerjen in late October. The climb is the first recorded ascent of the face. [Photo] Anthamattens collection

The three Swiss alpinists who made the first ascent of the south face of Jasemba (7350m) last month (read the November 4, 2009 NewsWire), have given their route a name and grade: Hook or Crook (VI M5 90 degrees, 1600m).

Simon Anthamatten, 26, his brother Samuel, 23, and their friend Michael Lerjen, 24, first learned of the peak's potential from a friend who had been trekking in the region. When initial research suggested the south face was unclimbed, the team set off. They acclimatized on a low nearby summit (6295m) "to keep a pure alpine ascent" on Jasemba, Simon Anthamatten said.


The team began climbing through light ice and snow on October 26 and bivied that night on a very unstable snow mushroom at 6500m. They spent the next three days wallowing up massive features socked with deep snow. About 450 meters below the summit, they climbed through a 150-meter rock band. They reached the top at 2:30 p.m. on the 29th. Twenty-five rappels, including one off a buried ice axe and another off a buried ski pole, brought them back to base camp on October 30.

Mired by deep snow and less-than-ideal conditions throughout much of their ascent, Simon Anthamatten reported that morale, at times, was low. However, the experience was important for him, he said: "Many times I climbed with stronger and more experienced people. This time we were three young friends who have known each other for years and with same skills and experience. Everybody is equal in the team."

The young ropemates have an impressive collective resume that includes speed records on the Eiger Nordwand and Hornli Ridge, new routes including the praised Checkmate on Teng Kang Poche (6487m), and a rescue attempt over 8000 meters on Annapurna.

Sources: Simon Anthamatten,,,

[Photo] Anthamattens collection

[Photo] Anthamattens collection

[Photo] Anthamattens collection

[Photo] Anthamattens collection

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