An attempt on Lobuje East, 1991

After the expedition: Looking back on our attempt to climb Lobuje East, frankly it is not a peak that should ever have been advertised as one for which – as World Expedition’s 91/92 trip notes put it – “no previous climbing experience is necessary.” This Table (which is on page 127 of Climbing, a book edited by Audrey Salkeld) shows that the standard route on Lobuje is harder than the standard route on Aoraki / Mt Cook (the highest mountain in New Zealand). Indeed, it’s the equivalent of climbing the far more challenging Balfour Face of Mt Tasman (New Zealand’s second-highest mountain). Given that we had only one qualified Sherpa in our party, we shouldn’t even have been trying to climb Lobuje East; we never really had any realistic likelihood of succeeding.