Teng Kangpoche, Nepal
North - East Pillar
Teng Kangpoche, Nepal
(ED3+ VII 5.11 A4 WI6 M8)
John Furneaux, Paul Bride and myself spent a total
of 25 days in Nepal.
Base camp was at 4350 meters and Paul made it to 5000
away with amazing video, digital and film images.
John and I climbed for a total of 14 days, climbing
the hardest terrain we have ever experienced physically
and mentally. We made it to 5700 meters and established
camp 3 before a seven day storm stopped our progress
and used up the rest of our resources to the point we
could not make the summit if we continued. We rappelled
safely back to base camp in a complete whiteout. I'm
proud of John and I. We picked a safe route, climbed
hard and came back alive and happy. Altitude is very
hard to deal with. Even acclimatized you can only ever
take 10 steps at a time, climb 10 feet up the rope or
swing your axe for 30 seconds before your bent over
and gasping for breath.
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We were very acclimatized because of the steepness
of the rock and the difficulty of the terrain which
forced us to climb slowly and we rapped down every night
to our high camp. John had also climbed at high altitude
three times in the past summer including Mt. Kenya,
Kilimanjaro and Mt. Logan. Unfortunately altitude is
such a hard game and sea level rules just don't apply.
At 5000 meters we could see Makalu, AmaDablam and the
biggest of them all... Everest, taking over the skyline.
This was my view everyday on our 7000 foot wall. It
was magic. Having made it to the head wall we had only
400 meters of easy splitter cracks to climb and a knife
edge ridge to reach the 6500 meter summit. 14 parties
have attempted the route over the years and John and
I did not see any sign of past climbers on the route
and according to records we have succeeded well beyond
past attempts. We climbed pitches rated WI6, M8, A4
and 5.11. We climbed capsule style but had seven ropes
to fix and one tent. This may have been a mistake. Because
of the altitude it would take nearly half the day or
more to ascend the ropes. Since we had a tent and no
portaledge we had to go out of our way to find suitable
ledges to dig out for a bivi. Next time we will bring
two ropes, a tent and a portaledge to make us faster.
If this was the case we may of had enough resources
left over to wait out the storm and continue on to the
summit. I learned a lot during this trip and can't wait