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Asia, Nepal, Kusum Kanguru from the Southwest

Kusum Kanguru from the Southwest. Brian Davidson, Dick Renshaw and I hoped to climb Kusum Kanguru (6369 meters, 20,896 feet) from the southwest. The approach from the Dudh Khosi was difficult and we may well be the first to reach the head of the Kusum Khola; it took three days to cover four horizontal miles through dense forest. Base Camp was just above the trees at 4000 meters and Advance Base at 4800 meters, just below the unclimbed southwest face. Our intended direct line up the face was regularly bombarded by rockfall and so we opted for a safer line further right. On the first attempt, we climbed this southwest buttress, 26 pitches of mixed climbing, to the crest of the unclimbed south ridge, where Davidson developed symptoms of altitude sickness. We sadly abseiled down the buttress but after two days of rest at Base Camp, Renshaw and I returned for a second attempt. This time we took a more direct line up the buttress and by the second afternoon had started to climb the magnificent rock pillar of the south ridge. On the fourth day, November 20, we climbed the final ridge of ice towers and reached the summit, completing a marvelous route, 1250 meters high, alpine grade TD sup. By the evening of the fifth day, we were back in Base Camp.

Stephen Venables, Alpine Climbing Group