Himalaya Fall 2019: Climbing Teams Target First Ascents in Nepal

The autumn climbing season is now in full swing in the Himalaya, where teams are currently at various stages of their expeditions on Everest, Lhotse, Manaslu, Cho Oyu, and Dhaulagiri. But the 8000-meter peaks aren’t the only ones that will see plenty of action this fall, as Nepal has announced that a pair of teams are eyeing first ascents on two unclimbed peaks.

According to The Himalayan Times, the Nepali Department of Tourism has issued two separate permits – one with 3 climbers, the other with 5 – for Panpoche I and Panpoche II. The two peaks are located in western Nepal and stand 6620 meters (21,719 ft) and 6504 meters (21,338 ft) respectively. Both mountains were opened to climbers back in 2014, along with dozens of others spread out across Nepal, although this is the first time that anyone has put a serious effort into actually climbing them.

The first of the two teams includes three climbers from the country of Georgia who will attempt to summit both Panpoche I and II. That group, which consists of Archil Badriashvili, Tepnadze Giorgi and Bakari Gelashvili , is being supported by Satori Adventures. Meanwhile the five-person team of Francesco Ratti, Marco Camandona, Emrik Favre from Italy and Swiss climber Andreas Stefan Steindl is working with Seven Summit Treks. That group will concentrate solely on Panpoche I this fall.

In contrast the expensive permits that are required for Everest and the other 8000-meter peaks in Nepal, these climbers were charged just $200 in fees on these unclimbed mountains. With such low costs, its a wonder that more climbers haven’t gone in search of a first ascent somewhere in the Himalaya. After all, back in 2014 when these mountains were opened up for access, they were just two of 104 peaks that had become available.

Good luck to the two teams on their attempt at these two mountains. Reportedly, both squads have arrived in Kathmandu and are on their way out to begin their expeditions now.

Kraig Becker

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