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EverestHistory.com: The West Ridge Direct


The West Ridge Direct, was attempted by the French in 1974 resulting in 6 deaths. The six died in an avalanche at around 6600 meters on the way to the Summit. they were the 31-36th deaths on Everest. 

31 Gerard Devouassoux 9/9/74 West Ridge Direct  Avalanche
32 Lhakpa Sherpa 9/9/74 West Ridge Direct  Avalanche
33 Sanu Wongal Sherpa 9/9/74 West Ridge Direct  Avalanche
34 Pemba Dorje Sherpa 9/9/74 West Ridge Direct  Avalanche
35 Nawang Lutuk Sherpa 9/9/74 West Ridge Direct  Avalanche
36 Nima Wangchu Sherpa 9/9/74 West Ridge Direct  Avalanche

This line of following the ridge to the Summit rather than veering on the North Face line of Tom Hornbein and William Unsoeld has proved to be deadly on Everest.

On May 13, 1979: Andrej Stremfelj and Jernej (aka Nejc) Zaplotnik reached the Summit via the true West ridge and descend via the Hornbein Couloir.  This large Yugoslav expedition was lead by Tone Skarja. The Summits successfully ended two-months' endeavors of the Yugoslav expedition. The Slovenian Route along the Western Ridge of Everest still ranks among the toughest Everest routes. Two days later more members of the same team summited: the Slovenian Stane Belak-Srauf, the Croatian Stipe Bozic and Ang Phu Sherpa. All the Summiters descended via the Hornbein Couloir; Ang Phu Sherpa who fell to his death while descending the Hornbein. Bottled oxygen was used during the climb. Therefore the first 2 attempts at the west ridge direct resulted in  5 Summits with only 4 climbers making it back down with a total of 7 Deaths.

Note: Nejc is a nickname of Jernej Zaplotnik.

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