Trio Attempt Full Traverse of Chamlang

After climbing together on Shishapangma’s difficult south face and Gasherbrum IV, Hervé Barmasse and David Göttler are back in the Himalaya to complete the first traverse of 7,319m Chamlang. Andrés Marín of Colombia joins them on this endeavour.

Earlier this year, Czech climbers Marek Holecek and Zdenek Hák opened a new route on Chamlang, which was first climbed by a Japanese team in 1962 from the SW face. The traverse was first eyed by Reinhold Messner in 1981. Three years after Messner, Doug Scott, Michael Scott, Jean Afanasieff and Ang Phurba linked two of the peak’s three summits. Since then, completing the traverse of its summit ridge has drawn the interest of elite, alpine-style teams.

Yesterday, the climbers finished their acclimatization with a night at 6,000m and are now waiting on conditions. Chamlang is prone to avalanches after heavy snowfalls, and the team is open to exploring other options if the mountain remains too dangerous. Mainly, they want to work together to prepare for a new route on Cho Oyu in spring 2020.

Lack of options won’t be a problem. Chamlang is located in Makalu area, a relatively isolated zone with lots of new routes on peaks between 6,000m and 7,000m.

Note: Some inaccurate climbing facts have been corrected. The author thanks Damien Gildea for his help. 

Related stories:

The Inside Story of the New route on Chamlang

Chamlang: The Quiet Himalaya

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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