Sherpas Reach Camp 1 on Dhaulagiri; Trango Attempt Ends

Imagine Nepal’s rope fixers on Dhaulagiri, led by Mingma G, have already reached Camp 1. Their route climbed a broken glacier to a wide col between Dhaulagiri and Tukche Ri. From that point, climbers follow Dhaulagiri’s NE Ridge.

The Sherpas and Canadian Jill Wheatley will spend tonight in C1. Tomorrow, they plan to open the route to C2 and even further, if possible. The rest of the clients fly to Jomson tomorrow. Here, they will acclimatize for three days before moving to Base Camp.

Cho Oyu thoughts

Back at the more mundane work of guiding, Gelje Sherpa and Lakpa Dendi have shared some thoughts about their recent winter attempt on Cho Oyu.

“Despite the big loads on our back, the wind pushed us around,” Lakpa Dendi recalled about their final summit push on the last day of winter. “We could see the summit from 7,900m but then were forced back when we were told the wind was increasing.”

Gelje also referenced the “steep, technical section that we could overcome, but we had three team members down due to illness, a faulty oxygen mask, and fatigue. We retreated back to Base Camp, not with disappointment but with a hunger to go back and try again.”

“Later that night everyone in the dining hall shouted to try again this year,” Lakpa Dendi added.  “This is not over yet.”

 

So at least three teams will try opening that new route on Cho Oyu post-monsoon. Seven Summit Treks (for whom Lakpa Dendi usually works) will support Gelje. However, it is not yet clear whether he and/or Lakpa Dendi will reprise their route to the difficult East Ridge or join Imagine Nepal and Pioneer Adventure’s team on the seemingly easier SSW Ridge.

News from Pakistan

Meanwhile in Pakistan, the Polish team led by Janusz Golab has called off their attempt on Trango’s Nameless Tower. Bad weather and high avalanche risk forced them back from 5,750m on the British route. They had climbed for eight days in difficult conditions.

The descent was no less hairy. Avalanches roared constantly around them. Luckily, they all reached Base Camp safely. Forecasts of at least one more week of foul weather prompted them to pack and leave. This was an unusual time to attempt Trango Towers, which are normally climbed in summer.

The Polish team’s Camp 1 at 5,500m on Trango’s Nameless Tower. They managed to reach 200 vertical metres higher before retreating. Photo: Polski Himalaizm Sportowy

 

In general, spring expeditions in the Karakoram are rare, except for some ski tours. Primo among the skiers, Luke Smithwick continues to carve new lines as part of his two-decades-long “500 Lines” project.

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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