The National Geographic Adventure Blog continues to keep us up to date on all manner of stories from the outdoor world. Today, they have a story about a team of climbers that have recently climbed a remote peak in China, and made the first ski descent of the mountain.
The climbing team, which consisted of Kasha Rigby, Ingrid Backstrom, Guila Monega, and Jimmy Chin, made their way to Western China to challenge the 20,000 foot Reddomaine, a summit that falls in the Minya Konka massif. The mountain itself had been climbed a number of times before, but no one had ever skied its slopes, and while it wasn’t one of the best known peaks in the world, it offered plenty of challenge.
The climbers took a few chances on their way to the top. They pushed back their turn-around time on multiple occasions, and kept going up despite the hours trickling away. They had to over come some rather technical sections along the way as well, but late in the afternoon on Summit Day, they at last stood on top. It had taken them 12 hours to reach that point, and they would spend another three skiing back to base camp. But it sounds like it was all worth it in the end.
The article notes that this type of climb is becoming more and more popular. Mountaineers are seeking out new challenges on remote and unclimbed peaks, rather than going after the famous 8000 meter summits. They permits are cheaper and easier to obtain, and the technical challenges are more of a draw, so while the crowds continue to grow on Everest, the top climbers are going elsewhere to find what they are looking for. Seems like a really great trend if you ask me.