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October 04, 2007


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Hello Jake,
Yes I agree with your assessment of the route leading to the Great Couloir and I've been following this story of late with interest.
Your comments on the rotten down sloping rock correlate with my own
observations based on your earlier zoom images you posted here in August from May 2004.
Both have been good in shedding light on the fine detail of the terrain, such as that deceptive gully past the second step which
Wyh-Harris & Wager tried to access in '33.
Long suggested as a 'backdoor' up onto the plateau, 2004 imagery reveals to my eye, very steep holdless rock, arguably as bad as the second step itself.
To my eye, I simply can't see a viable route from the couloir or its approaches up onto the plateau.
Moreover even if is was achieved by M&I, WHY would they proceed up onto the third step (veering far to the left as they angled up the plateau from the Couloir), when they could gain the base of the pyramid at any juncture.
Its seems excessive to veer so far over to the ridge crest when climbing up from the couloir and the pyramid looms above them accessable at any time.
Some suggest fear of avalanche, but if so, then surely one could just skirt the third step perimeter to the right and avoid the step itself or simply continue up the pyramid right ridge to the north pillar.
In note all pre war climbers tried to climb to the right and gain the subsidiary couloir too.
Finally, M&I #9 cylinder was found on the first step approaches at 8475m, this seems to indicate 'a priori' an intent to gain the NE Arete, but if the couloir theory is cogent, then it would mean that at some point M&I changed their minds and opted for the couloir, following the Wyn & Wager traverse for instance.
Possible but from my viewing of the terrain near and in the couloir, I'm somewhat sceptical.
Thanks for these good images.

Good health,

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Let us remember this history, and answer our destiny and remake the world once again.

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