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.

Angela Benavides

Angela Benavides graduated university in journalism and specializes in high-altitude mountaineering and expedition news. She 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 local and international media. She is also experienced in outdoor-sport consultancy for sponsoring corporations, press manager and communication executive, and a published author.