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.

Gangapurna

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. Meteoexploration.com

Angela Benavides is a journalist specialised on high-altitude mountaineer and expedition news working with ExplorersWeb.com.

Angela Benavides has been writing about climbing and mountaineering, adventure and outdoor sports for 20+ years.

Prior to that, Angela Benavides spent time at/worked at a number of national and international media. She is also experienced in outdoor-sport consultancy for sponsoring corporates, press manager and communication executive, radio reporter and anchorwoman, etc. Experience in Education: Researcher at Spain’s National University for Distance Learning on the European Commission-funded ECO Learning Project; experience in teaching ELE (Spanish as a Second Language) and transcultural training for expats living in Spain.

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Peter Flynn
Peter Flynn
4 months ago

Summit in 50 km/h winds with that wind chill would be impressive.