Nepal | November 15, 2019

Masha Gordon, four others summit Nepal’s virgin peak

Rajan Pokhrel
Masha Gordon and four others reach Khangchung Shar

Photo Courtesy: Masha Gordan

KATHMANDU: Five climbers have successfully stood atop the Khangchung Shar recently, making the first ever ascent to the 6,063-metre peak in the Mahalangur Himalaya range.

According to climbers, Ben O’Connor Croft (UK), Joshua Jarrin (Ecuador), Masha Gordon (UK), Ang Phurba (Nepal) and Pasang Bhote (Nepal) made the first ascent of Khangchung Shar on November 6. The government had opened the peak for climbing in 2014.

Talking to THT Online, Gordon, who holds the record of the fastest woman in the world to complete the Explorers’ Grand Slam, said that the team left the base camp at 5,200 metres at 1:00 am and reached the summit at 11:30 am.

According to her, the route named ‘Laughing Gargoyle’ (named so because of the large hanging ominous block on the summit) was approached from the Khangchung La Pass that lies between Khangchung and Cholo peaks.

“From the Col, the team followed the 40-degree snow slope towards a ramp while the members headed upward on steeper snow and ice, passing small rock steps heading towards the ridge,” she said, adding that the climbers then climbed up the ridge until steepness pushed them back onto the face past a rock ramp.

climbers near Khangchung Shar

Photo Courtesy: Masha Gordan

“Heading right along the ledge and avoiding a loose chimney above the belay, the team arrived on an airy traverse before turning onto a snow slope between the two summits.”

Though not a “too technical” climb, the ascent nonetheless became a serious crime with enough exposed sections and some careful rock ‘management’, according to her.

Gordon, who is a founder of GRIT&ROCK, has completed the Explorers’ Grand Slam in just seven months and 19 days.

She has also set a second world record and entered the Guinness Book of Records as the fastest female to climb the Seven Summits in 238 days, in 2016.


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