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Huge Himalayan Peak Climbed for First Time

A team of climbers acclimatized on Ama Dablam before successfully summiting a peak never before climbed

American climbers Ted Hesser and Garrett Madison have made the first ascent of a nearly 7,000-metre peak in the Himalaya. This mountain is relatively close to Mount Everest, and was unclimbed until late November.

The team began their expedition in Kathmandu, flew into Lukla and began trekking to the base camp. The route had significant technical challenges, such as steep snow/ice, as well as route finding, glacier travel, and ridge climbing. The 1,400-metre line had difficulties up to 5.8.

“Having climbed Ama Dablam just before allowed us to acclimatize and ready ourselves for this project,” said Madison. “We had a certain amount of ‘mountain fitness’ which was key. From base camp we established one high camp, although we had to wait a couple of days while it snowed heavily.”

Hesser said they want to name the peak Khembalung, the name of the village everyone on their Sherpa team was from. “Once the skies cleared, we got underway and made good progress, then started our summit day early on Nov. 14 leaving base camp at 2:30 a.m.” said Madison.

“About 12 hours later we stood on the summit. It was a glorious day and the achievement was a sweet one, especially given the camaraderie and spirit of teamwork that made it all possible thanks to our amazing Sherpa team.” A full feature story on this and other Himalayan climbs will be featured in the spring issue of Gripped.