Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Finding Unclimbed Peaks

A story of two friends exploring unclimbed peaks in Nepal and the difficulties involved in route finding when no beta is available. They succeed in an alpine ascent on a 20,000+ foot mountain with a one night bivouac.but have to spend two nights on the summit before they can find a way down.

“There are around 60 unclimbed peaks in Nepal for which permits can be obtained. Lists of these peaks are widely available. The tricky part is sifting through this information to find worthy independent summits. Many of the “peaks” are small sub-summits or BORs (bumps on a ridge). And, unsurprisingly, many are labeled with the wrong elevations, coordinates, and even names.

We found several different names for the pyramidal mountain we’d seen from Kang Nachugo. After much research, including talking to locals, we concluded that Jobo Rinjang, elevation 6,778 meters, was as close as we were likely to come to a definitive name. More important to us: Although Jobo Rinjang had been attempted at least once (by a Swiss team in 2008), it was still unclimbed.”

This is one of the fun parts of alpine climbing; going up is sometimes safer than going down.

Suddenly a rock the size of a beer cooler sped past us, sounding like a helicopter as it skimmed over the surface of the ice.

‘Holy shit, did you see that?’ I yelled.

David’s reply was unemotional, a simple ‘yeah.’ My mind raced. But quickly I realized he had already understood our situation. Keep going up. We’ll get out of danger quicker if we continue up. David turned back to the ice and continued kicking away”

1 comment:

Chase in CO said...

http://vimeo.com/4454034

Here's a link to videos of the climb. The guy, Joe Puryear, recently died while climbing in Tibet. He seemed like a rad dude and the ascent is pretty cool.