Monday, January 4, 2016

First Ascent 3 Himalayan Peaks in 3 days by 3 sherpas

Rolwaling Valley, Nepal was first explored in the 1950’s by British mountaineers Edmund Hillary and Eric Shipton who were followed by Swiss and Japanese expeditions. Although these mountaineers opened the door, the valley has remained isolated and almost unknown. In 2014, the Nepalese government approved climbing on several 6,000 m. peaks in Rolwaling for the first time. In light of the recent earthquake and to promote climbing in our home valley, we three local residents, Nima Tenji Sherpa, Dawa Gyalje Sherpa and Mingma Tashi  Sherpa, decided to do the first ascents of some of these newly opened peaks.

On the 26th of September, 2015, we headed to Rolwaling where we spent a day with our families. We had helped to repair trail damage following the earthquake, but more work was needed following the monsoon so we gave some money for maintenance and then headed towards  the peaks  we planned to climb. We spent two and a half days crossing Trakarding and Drolambau glaciers, reaching the advance base camp of Mt.Raungsiyar (6224m) and Mt.Langdak(6220m) on October 4th. We set up our ABC on the Drolambau glacier at an altitude of 5800m. On the same day we pushed to the summit of Mt. Raungsiar from the west ridge reaching the top at 3:15 pm and returning to ABC at 6:00 pm. We had a good meal and slept wellafter planning for our next day.  

Early in the morning of October 5th, the team started up Mt. Langdak (6220m) by the west flank ridge and we reached the west summit  which is 6177m. After spending a few minutes there, we descended 100m. and then continued to the main summit via the direct west ridge . We reached the main summit at 11:45 am.  From there, we had a spectacular view of the Himalayas including six 8000m peaks  - Mt. Everest (8,848m), Mt. Lhotse (8,516m), Mt. Makalu (8,463m), Mt. Cho Oyu (8,201m), Mt. Shisapangma (8,013m) and Mt. Kanchenjunga (8,586m). We then descended to ABC and moved to Thakar Go East (6152m) base camp at the altitude of 5600m where we spent the night again.


                                                                            On    October 6th, we started up Mt. Thakar Go East (6152m), which was our final summit . We reached the base of the mountain after a couple of hours crossing the Drolambau glacier to the west. We followed the Direct North East ridge which was a sharp pinnacle ridge, with a tricky and rocky bottom section. After a long ridge climb we had completed our 3 men, 3 mountains, first ascents in 3 days, at 11:15am. We celebrated our team success with big hug, and yelling on the summit.

For more fun and interest, we timed out ascents so that the day we summited corresponded to our names. Nima is the Sherpa word for Sunday so Nima Tenji Sherpa was the first to step on Mt. Raungsiar on Sunday, October 4th. Dawa means Monday so Dawa Gyalje Sherpa was the first to step on Mt. Lagdak on Monday, October 5th. Mingma means Tuesday, so Mingma Tashi stepped first on Mt.Thakar Go East on Tuesday, October 6th.

For anyone interested in Rolwaling, there are still many unclimbed peaks and even unnamed peaks, which our first ascent team is planning to climb, name and promote as new climbing destinations.
Below, we are registering our first ascents with Ms. Elizabeth Hawley since we know that no summit is official until she has accepted it.