On the 10th November, a team of seven made up of Rab athlete Squash Falconer, Alison Levine, Kath Staniland, Gopal Shrestha, Phurba Tenjing Sherpa, Tsering Pemba and Lakpa Nurbu Sherpa made the first ascent of Nepal’s Mt. Khang Karpo (6,704 metres).
The team set off on the 1st of the month and eventually made their ascent of the mountain 9 days later via the North ridge. The final summit push took the team over ten hours due to the difficulty of traversing a number of hanging seracs. The summit reportedly offered excellent views of Everest, Cho Oyu and Lhotse as well as a host of other Himalayan peaks and will likely make it a prime target for future commercial expeditions.
The peak is located at the end of the Ripimo Glacier near to the border with Tibet and had not been open to climbing until 2014. The Rolwaling valley, of which Khang Karpo forms a part, is home to a number of unclimbed peaks and would make an excellent destination for other parties looking to leave their mark on Himalayan history.
At a time when UK charity GRIT&ROCK are launching an expedition grant specifically to encourage more female first ascents, it’s great to see an expedition to the greater ranges where three of the team were women.