First summit on Khang Karpo excites climbers

KATHMANDU: Eight mountaineers including three women successfully summitted the Mt Khang Karpo (6,704 metres)* becoming the first expedition to climb one of the virgin peaks of the Rolwaling Valley in Dolakha district of central Nepal.

According to Dreamers Destination Trek, the team led by Nima Tenji Sherpa stood atop the peak on November 10 for the first time after the peak was opened for climbing in 2014.

Talking to THT Online after returning from the summit, team leader Sherpa said that Squash Falconer (UK), Alison Levine (US), Kath Staniland (UK), Gopal Shrestha, Phurba Tenjing Sherpa, Tsering Pemba and Lakpa Nurbu Sherpa (Nepal) made the first victory over the Mt Khang Karpo.

“This is the first expedition to Mt Khang Karpo at the end of Ripimo Glacier on a borderline with Tibet,” he said, “I believe Khang Karpo will be the best peak for commercial expedition as the view from the summit is stunning.”

American climber Levine* shared that it was the best moment to have a closer view of Mt Everest, Lhotse, Makalu, Cho Oyu, Sisha Pangma, Gyachung Khang, Nuptse, Cho-Guru (Melungtse) and many more peaks around Khang Kapro.

According to her, the team began the trek to the mountain on November 1 and reached the summit on November 10 at 2pm via the north ridge. “The summit push took more than 10 hours because there were numerous hanging glaciers.”

Levine, who is a New York Times bestselling author and filmmaker, said that the team first met while climbing the Mustagh Ata (7509 metres) in 2007. Levine also completed the Explorer's Grand Slam (Seven Summits and both poles) and did the first ascent of Antarctica's Hall Peak in January.

Staniland is an accomplished sportswoman, business owner and mother of three children. “She moved from the UK to Tignes, France when she was 18-year-old and is an avid paraglider pilot who has been active in the sport since she was 21-year-old.”

During the trek to Khang Karpo base camp, she and Falconer paraglided from 4,500 metres above Na and are believed to be the first people to ever paraglide in the area, she added.

Rab Athlete Falconer is an adventurer, speaker and presenter. She was the first British woman to successfully paraglide from the summit of Mont Blanc. “She has summitted both the Mt Everest and the Cho Oyu and various other peaks around the world.”

Team leader Nima Tenji is the renowned international mountain guide.

Nima Tenji along with fellow mountaineer Tashi and Dawa Gyalje had summitted Mt Langdak (6,220 metres), Mt Raungsiyar (6,224 metres) and Mt Thakar-Go East (6,152 metres) becoming the first ever Nepali team to successfully climb the Rolwaling peaks in 2015.

“Nima Tenji, Tashi Sherpa and Tenzeeng Sherpa also became the first Nepali climbers to successfully climb the Mt Denali (6,190 metres) from the West Rib route last summer.

Meanwhile, two young American Alpinists - Mark James Pugliese and Nikolas Ryan Mirhashemi - have also opened new routes to the summit of Mt Chukyima Go (6,289 metres) via west face.

The Mt Chukyima, which also lies in the Rolwaling Valley is a technical peak, Mingma Sherpa, Managing Director at Dreamers Destination, informed.

*Height of Mt Khang Karpo and nationality of Alison Levine are corrected