It seems that the fall 2019 climbing season in the Himalaya isn’t over quite yet. Yes, the 8000-meter peaks are pretty much empty at this point and we all know that Nims Purja wrapped up his Project Possible expedition a few days back. But there are still a few teams who remain in the region and have set their sights on some unclimbed peaks, demonstrating once again that some of the more daring climbs are away from the big mountains.
The Himalayan Times has a run down of a couple of teams that are pushing the boundaries in the mountains of Nepal at the moment. One of those includes a group of seven climbers who have made the first ascent of the 6659-meter (21,847 ft) Linku Chuli 2, located in the Rolling Valley. That group included Kanchhi maya Tamang (31) from Nepal, Margaritta Lucia Silvestre (30) from Peru, Yin Hung Tsang (43) from China and Ma Soledad Castro Serrano (46), who were joined by Nima Gyalzen Sherpa, Mingma Nuru Sherpa, and Lhakpa Nuru Sherpa. The squad approached the unclimbed peak along the North Route, reaching the summit around 10:00 AM local time on October 28.
A first ascent in the Himalaya is always an impressive accomplishment, but apparently these ladies — along with a few of their friends — have bigger plans in the future. The ascent of Linku Chuli 2 was used as a warm up climb to help them prepare for a return to the Himalaya in the spring, where they will begin a project that will see 14 women, from 14 countries, scale all 14 8000-meter mountains. That should be an interesting project to follow in the coming years as well.
The climb up Linku Chuli 2 wasn’t the only first ascent in recent days. According to THT Pemba Ongchhu Sherpa and Japanese alpinist Hiroki Nakayama also summited Hongu (Sura Peak) in the Mahalangur-Makalu Range earlier this week. The duo reached the top of that 6764-meter (22,191 ft) mountain late in the afternoon on October 25, becoming the first humans to stand on the summit of that mountain.
These stories are a reminder that there are still literally dozens of unclimbed mountains in Nepal that are open and available to climbers who are looking to leave their mark on the mountaineering world. Yes, we do get caught up in the expeditions to the 8000-meter peaks on a regular basis, but there are good things happening on the so-called “lesser” peaks too, including some groundbreaking alpinism. Most of these climbs are done off the radar, on new and unexplored routes, and in remote areas. In other words, true exploration is often involved, something you can’t say about the standard routes on the big mountains.
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