After spending several days in the shade of the north face on Kwandge, the sun has become my new best friend. Soon, very soon, I might stop wearing a toque and a down jacket every second of the day (and night ; ) )
Audrey and I are gratefully keeping our feet warm and hoping the normal sensations will soon return. Ines is blessed with feet that can stand the cold.
lusting after the NE face
Before we committed to the rocky face of Kwangde we did a couple treks to check out other options. The girls were super psyched on Kusum Kanguru, but I was enticed by the NE face of Teng Kang Poche. It wasn’t quite touching down, but I was surprised by the lack of debris on the cone below the route. What a beautiful mountain!
We were also inspired by Cholatse and adjacent peaks, but there was not quite enough ice to justify the change of objective. Our trek took us over Chola pass, we got worked over by doing really big days, the locals have got the length of days right, we really will listen to them, next time!
Ceremony for our climb
After we settled into Kwangde Lho basecamp (3670m), we went up to the Thame monastry for this ceremony. not much ice
- Initially we took 2 days to establish a camp at 5100m at the base of the face. This was a great reconnaissance trip, as I learned that I was going too ‘light’ and we also learned that everything looks smaller than it is! ie. 130m looks like 50m!
only 2 in the tent… no problem!
Audrey and I enjoying the climbing at -20 with way too many clothes on
We were so lucky to find one of the only ledges on the route for our tent. It was a bit scary to go to the bathroom with slippery booties on though!
2 pitches from the
We climbed 800 vertical meters (1000m of rope lengths) to 300m short of the summit. ridge (high point)
This photo of Ines leading super chossy rock is right after she dropped her open pack that contained her water, food, headlamp, sunglasses, radio, sat phone, video camera and another camera! shite. After the climb, Chris generously searched the base of the mountain to find some of the contents of the pack. He found the pack, it made it back down the mountain!, and the video camera, but no memory card : ( boo.“topping out” at 5880m
the view towards kwangde nup
We had to make the tough decision to descend before summitting. We got back to our camp at 56oom just after dark. We didn’t take enough food to go for an extra day. We had poor strategy. We were always slower than expected due to the lack of ice and maybe the altitude. In the end Audrey got some frostbite, as well. It took us a full day to descend from 5600m back to basecamp and in total we did 17 pitches of climbing and rappelling.
descending the climbing route
We were exhausted after the route. It took a few days of rest before feeling rehydrated and warm. We all have a lot of respect for this mountain, especially in winter conditions.
I was so impressed with the general lack of wind and the clear skies up high. Valley fog was predominant though, so it was good to get out of the valley. The Ines taught us about calling the mountains by their proper title as you do in deutschland.
Base Camp Tent
the Audrey, the Cory, the Chris and the Jen!
Back in basecamp after the climb….drinking lots of tea and playing cards!