Wednesday, 5 December 2018

The First Ascent of Korlang Pari Tippa North, Nepal

The First Ascent of Korlang Pari Tippa North - Nepal

On the 11th November, a small team led by Brian Jackson headed to Nepal to attempt a previously unclimbed mountain. This would be Expedition Wise’s 5th Unclimbed Peak Expedition and Brian’s 6th first ascent in Nepal.

After a very bumpy 12 hrs on a bus from Kathmandu the Team arrived in Lambagar, a Sherpa village in the North - South Rolwalling Valley, one of the 7 hidden valleys of Nepal and home of the Yeti.

From Lambagar, they trekked with their support crew that consisted of 9 porters, 2 climbing Sherpas (Mingma Dorje Sherpa and Mindu Sherpa), 3 cook crew and 1 cook (Amrit Rai) from Lukla region. They also had 5 local porters for 4 days to the last village of Lapche where the Valley splits. At this point the local porters would leave them to return to Lambagar.

They spent the next day trekking into the deep gorge, following the steep sides along an old trail. Here they experienced a slight detour due to the path being changed onto the other side of the river! Arriving at Thasing Kharka in the mid afternoon they enjoyed a wonderfully cooked dinner before heading to sleep in their tents.

Over the next few days the route led them out of the gorge and past the settlement of Thanchhemu. Here the valley opened up as they reached the two river valleys descending from the Tibetan plateau. It was then that they received their first view of the large snow-peaked mountains.

They spend half a day resting in Lapche (3,800m) the root of Buddhism and the place that many Tibetans and Nepali make pilgrimage to, as it is one of the 24 most holy sites in Tibet and Nepal. Here they are now only a stone's throw from the Tibetan border which lies a couple of kilometres away.

On the 6th day the team reached their Base Camp having ascended to 4,800m. Here they stood in awe as they looked up at the mountain they would attempt to climb. 

For the next few days the Team rested at Base Camp, took part in a Puja ceremony and practised jumar work to prepare for the climb. They looked at the possible route options to the summit and took in the beautiful surroundings. With their feet in Nepal it was astonishing to think that Tibet lay just the other side of the mountain.

The next day was spent trekking up to their Advanced Base Camp at the high lake (5,400m), where views of the summit came into sight. Nervous and excited by the prospect of attempting the summit in the next couple of days, it was incredible to think that they had reached territory that no one had been to before.

Until then they had to rest and prepare for what looked like a tough ascent up very difficult terrain. Korlang Pari Tippa lay just before them with an East and West summit on the 500m long ridge. They looked at the East summit as it was the highest but could not see a route up the twin towers of broken shattered blocks as it is practically unclimbable. They decided to climb the lower West summit, which still had falling rock and difficult shattered rock traverses.

In the early hours of Sunday 25th November, the team awoke and headed out under a clear, moonlit sky. Summit day had arrived and with it favourable weather conditions. There was no need for head torches as the full moon illuminated the landscape as they walked to the start point of their ascent.

The going was tough as they used fixed lines to help them jumar up the steep sections that were covered with scree and loose rock. Each step felt like they were going backwards and it took a lot of concentration to ensure each foot placement didn’t disturb the crumbling rock.

They persevered, encouraging each other as they went and by 9am the whole team had reached the summit of Korlang Pari Tippa North (5,573m). They were met with the most incredible views across Nepal & Tibet, with Shishapangma, Lhotse and Everest in clear sight.

They spent a short time at the summit appreciating their surroundings before heading back down to Advanced Base Camp. After much deserved rest they trekked to Base Camp the next day. Normally they would have spent the next week trekking out the way they had come in. However, they left in style as one of the team had very generously sorted a helicopter to fly them back to Kathmandu!

A pretty remarkable end to a rather remarkable expedition!

We would like to take this chance to say a huge than you to our wonderful support crew and our amazing Sherpas. We would not be able to do these expeditions without them and it’s always a pleasure to spend time with.

This is Brian’s 6th successful ascent in Nepal having been leading Unclimbed Peak Expeditions for the last 5 years. Although this will be the last expedition in Nepal for a while, we may have some exciting news regarding future Unclimbed Peak Expeditions…on a different continent! 

Watch this space!

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