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Canadian Alpinists Climb New Himalayan Route

After a successful expedition, Maarten van Haeren and Ethan Berman talk about their first ascent

In fall 2022, Canadians Maarten van Haeren and Ethan Berman travelled to eastern Nepal’s Rolwaling along the Tibetan border and climbed a new 1,200-metre route up Khang Karpo (6,646 m).

The veteran Rockies alpinists called their new line Tiny Changes and graded it TD+ M5 AI4. It’s the first ascent of the northeast face and the first time it was climbed from the Chulle Glacier basin. This was their first expedition to the Himalaya.

After returning to Canada, van Haeren wrote a short report about their expedition: “We spent three nights on the wall, with my highest night ever at 6300 m. We found mostly great but cold conditions, with lots of boot-swinging and puff-pants-wearing. Since we found no great alternate descent during acclimatization, we spend our last day descending most of the face. We had some set backs early on in the trip (twisted ankle, tooth problems, flu and more!), but managed to try our climb at the last possible moment before the yak train returned. I really enjoyed spending a lot of time in the mountains of Nepal on our first trip here. I can see why people love returning to Nepal.”

On a recent episode of The Cutting Edge podcast, American Alpine Journal editor Dougald MacDonald interviews the pair about their new route, and then asks them to go into detail on the ins and outs of planning an expedition. In 2019, the two climbed a new route on Storm Mountain in Banff National Park, read about it here.

The Cutting Edge