Gangapurna and Trango Towers Expeditions Begin

This winter’s climbing in the Himalaya and the Karakoram has largely fizzled out because of bad weather. But spring climbing is off to an usually early start, as two small teams hurry to 6,000m and 7,000m peaks, aiming for light ascents and new routes.


Jonatan Garcia and Topo Mena are already in Kathmandu. Soon, they’ll leave for Pokhara, from which they’ll fly to the base of Gangapurna.

“It’s nearly 100 percent sure that we will set Base Camp on the south side,” Garcia told ExplorersWeb. Nevertheless, they’ll do a quick fly around, just to be sure.

In a previous interview, the Spaniard said that they would prefer to attempt the still unclimbed north face. However, in the few pictures that they had seen, they couldn’t find a safe spot for Base Camp. Huge seracs hung right above the foot of the mountain.

The Poles’ projected Advance Base Camp at the base of Trango’s Nameless Tower. Photo: Polski Himalaizm Sportowy


Trango Towers

In Pakistan, Janusz Golab, Maciej Kimel, and Michal Krol of Poland have reached the Trango Towers. They plan to set their Advanced Base Camp, above, at the start of the line that they intend to climb. Just getting to ABC, at about 5,000m, should be all the acclimatization they need. Nameless Tower is 6,239m.

The Poles in Skardu some days ago. Photo: Polski Himalaizm Sportowy


Both teams are climbing in wintry conditions. In fact, the next 20 days remain astronomical winter. Unfortunately, we may not be able to update their progress regularly. Mena and Garcia just have a simple InReach device, while the Polish team will call home intermittently by satellite phone. Otherwise, they have no internet connection and no intention to feed social media. Kind of a treat/throwback — but we will have to be patient about news.

On Cho Oyu, Pioneer Adventure and Gelje Sherpa’s teams have combined for a last attempt via a new route up the SSW Ridge. But forecasts continue to show no suitable summit day in the near future. According to the chart below, there might be a chance next Wednesday, but it remains too early to tell. The eight Sherpas will have to leave for home soon to prepare for their spring guiding gigs.

Multimodel forecast for Cho Oyu summit.