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Asia, Nepal, Paldor and Other Peaks, Ganesh Himal, 1986

Paldor and Other Peaks, Ganesh Himal, 1986. Gareth Yardley, David O’Dowd and I made these climbs in the post-monsoon period of 1986, members of the British Mountaineering Council. After acclimatizing on a number of smaller peaks, including P 4900 (16,076 feet; “Neddy’s Thumb”) and P5300 (16,389 feet; “Pema’s Peak”), we made the first ascent of the “Fang” (c. 5640 meters, 18,504 feet) via the south ridge. The Fang lies directly south of Paldor and offered excellent rock and reasonable mixed climbing. From a high camp at the end of the south ridge on the East Paldor Glacier, we followed snow slopes to gain the ridge above the first pinnacle and continued along the ridge to the summit, passing pinnacles on both the left and right sides of the ridge. From the summit, an awkward 50-meter rappel led to a couloir which gave quick access back to the east glacier. On Paldor, we established a high camp on the west glacier in one day from Base Camp. We then climbed the southwest buttress to Paldor’s summit (5896 meters, 19,343 feet) and descended the Cleare-Howell route on the south ridge until a couloir led down to the east glacier. We thought this was a new route but later found that Sandy Allen had climbed the route the previous spring. After two days we returned to our high camp on the west glacier and climbed the west ridge. From the col, we followed snow gullies up to 60° in places. The gullies led in 200 meters of mixed climbing to the west shoulder. From there, we climbed a beautiful corniced ridge to the summit. We descended the Cleare-Howell ridge. This was a first ascent; it was a complete skyline traverse as seen from Base Camp. Paldor and its satellite peaks offer excellent alpine-style climbing of easy access.

Nicholas Yardley, British Mountaineering Council and IME, North Conway, New Hampshire