Tuesday, 31 May 2016

Unclimbed Peak Expedition, Nepal - 2016

One of the many spectacular views experienced on the Expedition

In April 2016 Expedition Wise Director, Brian, and his climbing partner James set off to attempt to summit a mountain in the Himalayas that no one had previously climbed before. This would be Brian's 3rd Unclimbed Peak Expedition having successfully summited Nar Phu Peak (5930m) in 2014 and Chubbohe (5640m) in 2013. Though this year's summit was not to be due to dangerous climbing conditions it was still an incredible experience as they got to speak to the Nepalese and Sherpa community to see how they have been rebuilding their lives following last year's devastating earthquake.

Brian was able to update daily using his satellite tracker so we have compiled these daily updates into a diary of sorts to show their journey.

Unclimbed Peak Expedition - Omi Tso Go

14th April 2016: Happy New Year 2073! Brian and his climbing partner James arrived in Nepal late as the plane had to hold over Kathmandu, then ran out of fuel, so were diverted to India!

They finally got into Kathmandu 5hrs late and arrived at New Year's Evening - 2073. They have met with the Nepali Mountain Guides who have been to 7,000m + before so are well experienced!

They are off to Ministry of Tourism now to sort out the climbing permits

15th April: Brian and James are currently at 1,440m having arrived at Chot Chot after a very bumpy car journey! They have set up camp by the river and are getting their kit ready for tomorrow where they will commence the first day of trekking!

Brian will have the tracker on so will be sending updates along the route and we will hopefully be able to see how they are getting along. All is well and we wish them a great first day of trekking tomorrow.

17th April: Just got in to Dovan (2,800m). All good apart from weather. Thunder, lightning and rain each afternoon and evening.

Passed landslides & building damage from earthquake today. Raining here so snowing higher up. Pray for better weather.

6 hrs walking - 800m height gain but lots of ups and downs. Hoping weather improves.

19th April 2016: 7 hrs walking.101m descent, 964m ascent. At Beding in rain, hail, thunder and lightning. Need weather to change for any chance of ascent!

Weather continues to be bad with snow and hail. Messages each day may need to be sent next morning as no satellite coverage due to clouds.

Off to Na today at 4180m. Clear this morning but lots of snow on slopes and big avalanche risk on peaks after overnight storm.

Spectacular half day walk in to Na with views of peaks. Cloud starting to form so will decide whether to camp or tea house this afternoon.

We are both looking forward to rest day tomorrow

20th April 2016: Enjoying our rest day. Last night was first evening without thunder, lightning and snow/rain. Today is beautiful.

Rolwaling valley very remote with few people; moved away after earthquake. Beding and Na are Sherpa villages so all men are away working.

21st April 2016: We have now trekked in to our valley and views are spectacular. Very isolated and remote. We can see our peak!

Both of us are doing well. Really felt the altitude gain today.

Today we ascended 527m and descended 34m. 4hrs walking.

22nd April 2016: Weather pattern continuing with thunder and large snow dump overnight. Very windy today and cold. Making way to Base Camp at base of glacier.

Tough day's walk to Base Camp over glacial moraine and up loose steep rock walls to find snow plateau at 5224m. Dug out tent platforms.

Route looks even harder in reality than on Google Earth. Snowing again & some minor powder avalanches on face. Both doing well; need rest day.

We need the wind to die down as 30-40 mph on route today and could see wind on ridge pushing off the snow. Need 5 clear days + no wind. Snowing heavily now.

23rd April 2016: At Base Camp on rest day. Snowing already at 10am with cloud and wind build up. This peak is not looking feasible for us.

We have made our decision that the weather is not improving, in fact it is deteriorating, so we will head down tomorrow to approach camp.

Sherpas went up today to plot route onto hanging glacier - no route found. Decision confirmed to descend before we get snowed in up here.

We have walked where no one has walked, seen views that no one has seen before - no regrets.

24th April 2016: Back down to approach camp. Weather now really good although overnight we had 6 inches of snow.

Took 4hrs to get down to approach camp, same as ascent, as very tricky descent on snow covered rocks.

Up Rolwaling glacier tomorrow to check out feasibility of Langdung peak before returning to Na.

25th April 2016: Back at Na - weather now perfect for climbing Omi Tso Go but not possible - dangerous crevasses on hanging glacier on route to col. Oh well!

26th April 2016: In Kelje at 2850m after double day walking out for 7hrs. Weather still great and views amazing.

27th April 2016: Returned to Chot Chot walking 40mins down the road passing the hydro power before being picked up for the drive back to Kathmandu.

Though the summit was not reached this time it does not take away the incredible experience they had trekking through the amazing landscape of the Himalayas. Just look at those epic, snow-capped peaks! Brian would like to say a huge thank you for all your kind words/messages of support throughout the expedition and the generous donations to ShelterBox UK via his Just Giving page. You have helped to make such a huge difference!

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