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New Big Mountain Routes Climbed in Nepal

The season is in full swing in Nepal and a number of big new routes have been climbed.

Most recently, Mingma Gyalie Sherpa summited the unclimbed Mount Chobutse in the Rolwaling Valley. He climbed the 6,685-metre peak solo and up its massive west face. The 29-year-old took a short video and then descended safely.

After his ascent, Mingma Gyalie told Stefan Nestler, “I have climbed Everest with bottled oxygen and the other six 8,000-meter- peaks without the use of oxygen. When I climbed these high mountains, I did it with partners and on routes with fixed ropes.

The west face of Mount Chobuje.  Photo
The west face of Mount Chobuje. Photo Mingma Gyalie Sherpa

“But a solo ascent means climbing alone in free style, there isn’t any fixed rope or climbing partner to save you if you make a mistake. A mistake means the end of your life.

“So it is itself challenging. It took me three years to decide to go for a solo climb. Finally, I made it this year. Climbing Chobutse was my worst decision and mistake. I almost lost my life.

“After my summit success, I spent two nights and days without food, water or tent. I spent two threatening nights and a day at the same place in a whiteout waiting for the weather to clear up. My only satisfaction is that I made it to the summit, though it was the hardest climb of my life.”

Mingma Gyalje Sherpa grew up in Rolwaling and is one of the strongest climbers in Nepal. He has climbed many of the biggest mountains in the world, including Mount Everest four times, twice each from the Tibetan north and the Nepalese south side. He has climbed six other eight-thousanders, including Manaslu (three times), Lhotse, Cho Oyu, Kangchenjunga, K2 and Annapurna.

Previous to his solo ascent, three fellow Sherpa had climbed three new routes up previously unclimbed mountain in the same area. Tashi Sherpa, Dawa Gyalie and Nima Tenji Sherpa summited Thakar-Go East 6,152 m, Langdak 6,220 m, and the highest of the three, Raungsiyar 6,224 m. All of the ascents mentioned are breakthrough climbs for the Sherpa of Nepal.

Also in October, a French team including Mathieu Detrie and Julien Dusserre climbed a new route on Dazampa Tse in Nepal’s Nangpai-Gosum. The 7,350-metre peak was climbed up a new 700-metre route on its northeast face. The mountain was first climbed in 2004 by its southwest face.

In September, Russian Aleksander Gukov, Ivan Dozhdev, Ruslan Kirichenko and Valeriy Shamalo made the first ascent of Thulagi Chuli 7,059 m. They climbed the west face up their route Happy Birthday, a nearly 200-metre VI 5.10 M4. Around the same time, American Eric Larsen and Ryan Waters visited Rolwaling Valley and climbed the unclimbed peak Jabou Ri 6,166 m.

Some sad news came from Nepal in October with the report Gerhard Fiegl died after summiting Nilgiri South 6,839 m in the Annapurna area. He had climbed the south face with Hansjorg Auer and Alex Blumel and on the southwest ridge descent fell to his death. He was 27.

Gerhard Fiegl, Alexander Blumel e Hansjorg Auer on Nilgiri South. Photo Hansjorg Auer
Gerhard Fiegl, Alexander Blumel e Hansjorg Auer on Nilgiri South. Photo Hansjorg Auer/Planet Mountain

– Source: Alan Arnette, Alpinist and Planet Mountain.