Kiwi Climbers Repeat Boardman & Tasker’s ‘Shining Mountain’

It has taken 46 years and over 20 attempts but finally, Matthew Scholes, Kim Ladiges, and Daniel Joll of the New Zealand Alpine team have repeated the legendary West Wall of Changabang.

 

Pete Boardman and Joe Tasker’s 1976 climb of the West Wall of Changabang (6,864m, in India’s Garhwal Himalaya) was a revolution in big-wall climbing.

“The climb that may well be the hardest yet done in the Himalaya,” the American Alpine Journal wrote at the time. The pair had never climbed together before, yet managed to work their way up this face of sustained steepness. It forced them to use new techniques, such as semi-hanging bivouacs, and spend 25 days on the wall.

At the time, most expeditions on new Himalayan big walls used heavy, expedition-style sieges. No one thought it possible for two men on a shoestring budget to tackle such a challenge in pure alpine style.

A member of the New Zealand Alpine team works his way up Changabang. Photo: NZ Alpine Team

Golden pages of climbing history

Boardman and Tasker showed the way for the next generation of elite, alpine-style climbers. They shared the story of the climb in a remarkable book called The Shining Mountain, awarded 1979’s John Llewellyn Rhys Prize.

The New Zealand Alpine Team has just announced their success and shared a few pictures. They refer to Changabang West Ridge instead of wall or face, which is how Boardman and Tasker’s route is usually described.  Anyway, they have left us craving more details, so stay tuned.

Senior journalist, published author and communication consultant. Specialized on high-altitude mountaineering, with an interest for everything around the mountains: from economics to geopolitics. After five years exploring distant professional ranges, I returned to ExWeb BC in 2018. Feeling right at home since then!


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damiengildea
Editor
17 days ago

Is there a source that indicates the Mexicans attempted the west face and not the north face?

Jerry Kobalenko
Admin
17 days ago
Reply to  damiengildea

After your comment, we looked into it. You may be right. Until we can clarify, we’ve deleted that passage about the Mexicans. Still no further word from the New Zealanders.

damiengildea
Editor
16 days ago

Scholes and Ladiges are Australian, Joll is NZ, but OK… 🙂

B.G
B.G
17 days ago
Reply to  damiengildea

Not saying it’s definitive but the IMF reports its as so
https://www.indmount.org/IMF/changabang2006

damiengildea
Editor
16 days ago
Reply to  B.G

Thanks, but that report is a bit of a mess as, amongst other things, the ‘Kurtyka route’ is on the south face, not the west.

B.G
B.G
15 days ago
Reply to  damiengildea

As long as these ‘authorities’ report these things uncorrected they will continue the problem of climbing history being made by the bean counters not the climbers themselves.

Doug Shelby
Doug Shelby
16 days ago

Pete Boardman and Joe Tasker… man I’m not sure if there’s ever been before, or will ever be again, such a pair of climbing partners that never had worked together before, that accomplished something so difficult. Congratulations to the new Zealand team repeating it. I bet you when they got to the top of that monolithic mountain, those two guys were on their mind. I hope so anyway… Everest west ridge next guys??

Tim Macartney-Snape
Tim Macartney-Snape
15 days ago

..and that pic is of the north face, with the west ridge on the right.

Pat Deavoll
Pat Deavoll
15 days ago

Except two of the summiters were Australian not Kiwi, Daniel was the only Kiwi