American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Asia, Tibet, Nyanchen Thanglha Central Peak

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 1990

Nyanchhen Thanglha Central Peak. Dr. Erika Prokosch, Ursula Bauer, Dr. Erich Bosina, Anna Szalay, Dr. Franz Herzog, Teodor Fritsche, Herwig Schnutt, Gunther and Werner Hönlinger, Fridl Widder, Karl Wuttke and I as leader crossed from Nepal into Tibet with five Sherpas. Sirdar Tashi Lama’s knowledge of Tibetan allowed us to communicate well with the Tibetan nomads. We were also accompanied by an official of the Chinese Mountaineering Association and were joined by a Tibetan liaison officer. We traveled some 100 kilometers northwest from Lhasa on July 19 to Base Camp at 4800 meters at the entrance to the Pali Sui valley. From a ridge we could see the whole of the Nyanchhen Thanglha massif. The south-southwest ridge of the unclimbed central peak (7117 meters, 23,350 feet) stood out as a possible route. The higher western peak (7162 meters, 23,497 feet) had been climbed by a Japanese- Chinese group in 1986. (See AAJ, 1987, pages 298-9, where the name is given as Nianqintangula.) On July 27 we established Camp I at 5150 meters with the help of six yaks. The next day we reconnoitered to an idyllic spot for Camp II at 5450 meters by a small lake below the glacier. Camp III was placed at 5900 meters on a col at the foot of the ridge on July 25. Since time was limited and the weather was unstable, only the strongest members had a chance for the summit. On July 28, a strong north wind drove back the monsoon clouds and brought lovely weather and hard frozen firn snow. Fritsche, Schnutt, both Hönlingers and I climbed the 1200 vertical meters to the summit. This was a wonderful present for me on my 54th birthday. The others climbed several 6000ers that same day. We traveled back to Lhasa on August 1. The name Nyanchhen Thanglha means “Great Saint who looks over the broad plain,” which is very apt.

Wolfgang Axt, Österreichische Himalaya Gesellschaft

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