Muchu Chhish: Czech-Norwegian ‘Race’ Will End Up as an All-Czech Show

This year, two teams showed up to attempt the first ascent of the biggest unclimbed peak in Pakistan — Muchu Chhish, in the Batura range of the northern Karakorum.

One is a Czech team, making their third attempt to the mountain. The second group, the Czechs reported last week, is French. Or so they thought.

“Who said French? We’re Norwegians,” Andreas Ebbesen and Thomas Lone told ExplorersWeb via polar guide Lars Ebbesen.

In their previous post, the Czechs seemed not exactly elated to have neighbors/competitors. Meanwhile, the presence of the Czechs also took the Norwegians by surprise.

“Thomas and Andreas did not know about the Czechs till they started,” said Lars Ebbesen. “Of course, they knew of their previous attempts, since Andreas has had the mountain in mind since 2018…But it was not until this year that the opportunity has arisen.”

The skiers smile at a placce outdoors in the sunlight.

Left to right, Andreas Ebbesen and Thomas Lone. Photo: Andreas Ebbesen/Instagram

Memories of the South Pole race

The Czech climbers have waited out a six-day rainy spell. Today, they set off from Base Camp and went straight to Camp 2 at 5,660m. The mountain had barely stabilized after a snowstorm yesterday, but the Czechs couldn’t wait to get moving — and get up first. They plan to hurry up to Camp 3 in the morning.

“There were also rumors from the Norwegian camp about leaving for C2,” they wrote, drawing a parallel with the Amundsen-Scott race to the South Pole. “We prefer…to be the first.”

Meanwhile, the Norwegians have other plans. Lone and Ebbesen are expert speed skiers and are already above the Czechs, around 5,400m. But they aren’t heading for the summit. They already tried to move higher, but conditions proved impossible. Warm weather has left wet, rotten snow. So they’ve apparently quit the idea of summiting.
Instead, they intend to ski down from their current altitude. “Then they’ll leave the mountain for the Czechs,” said Lars Ebbesen.

Speed skiers

“This is a very low-key trip for two close friends wanting to marvel at fantastic scenery and have a good time,” added Ebbesen. “I am not aware of why they are calling the expedition off. They really wanted to reach the summit.”
a skier in bad weather pulled by a large yellow kite.

File image of Andreas Ebbesen kite-skiing. Photo: Andreas Ebbesen/Facebook


Thomas Lone is familiar to ExplorersWeb readers as a member of the Death Zone Freeride expedition at Broad Peak. He is active in all sorts of ski sports, including kiting. Meanwhile, Andreas Ebbesen was the youngest to ski across Greenland at 13 years old in 2003. He has summited Denali and Pik Korzhenevskaya, as well as many other 5,000’ers and 6,000’ers.

The Czech team hopes to make good progress to the summit. The forecast suggests a long period of good weather over the next nine days.

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.