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Asia, Bhutan, Basingthang Peaks

Basingthang Peaks. During October, Peter Mould led a combined climbing-trekking expedition to northwest Bhutan which had permission to tackle unclimbed “trekking peaks” up to 5700 meters from a Base Camp at 4200 meters on Basingthang yak pasture, 12 miles southeast of Chomolhari. The climbers were John Blacker, John Innerdale and son Jonathan, Eric Langmuir, Jerry Lovatt, Peter Mould, Dr. John Nixon, Stephen Town and I. On October 12, Mould, Blacker, Lovatt, Nixon and I climbed P 5640 (18,504 feet) in the Ngum Tang Gang group from a camp at 4800 meters near the top of the Riburi Ridge. The peak lies 2½ miles west-northwest of Base Camp. A satisfying steep ridge of snow and ice led to an airy summit. There are two more unclimbed peaks in this group. On October 15, Nixon climbed P 5487 (18,002 feet) solo after his companion retired unwell. The north summit of this easy saddle-shaped peak was visible from Base with two small rocky summits of 5487 and 5450 meters at either end. We propose the name Ganae Gang, which means “Saddle Peak” in Bhutanese. On October 16, the Innerdales, Town and I climbed both summits in a 10½-hour round-trip from Base. On October 15, Wohney Gang (5589 meters, 18,337 feet) was climbed by Langmuir, Lovatt and Mould in a 12-hour round-trip from a camp 100 meters below the 4969-meter Wohney La to the north of the peak. It lies 3½ miles south-southwest of Base. This was the best climb. It went up a steep snow rib on the flank of the northwest ridge and led unexpectedly without further great difficulty to the summit. There are other fine peaks, but the rock is poor and so it is better to concentrate on snow-and-ice climbs.

George Band, Alpine Club