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Langshisha Ri, West-Northwest Face

I made a solo, alpine-style, first ascent of the west-northwest face of Langshisha Ri (6427 meters, 21,086 feet) and the first traverse of the peak. I was accompanied to Base Camp by Dr. Matjaž Vrtovec, Chindi Phurba Sherpa and liaison officer Kesar Bahadur Saud. After acclimatization climbs, which included an ascent to a plateau at 5700 meters below the standard south-face route to become familiar with the descent, I set out up the previously unattempted west-northwest face from 4700 meters late on the morning of October 7. I found two large, dangerous séracs overhanging the route and so I climbed a rock ridge between them, which was in direct sunlight and therefore warm, though a bit complicated with some difficult pitches. I stayed on it to its top at 5360 meters. I then ascended a snow ramp (50° to 60°) leading left to a sérac at 5820 meters, where I bivouacked at 8:30 P.M. without a sleeping bag to save weight and to allow me to take two ropes for rappels on the descent of the south face. After a cold night, I resumed the ascent at 6:30 A.M., now on the steepest part of the route, which was never less than 60°. The crux was fifteen meters of 80° ice below a delicate 65° traverse to the right and another ten meters of 80° ice. Following a 65° to 70° couloir, I joined the southwest ridge about 100 meters from the top, where I arrived at eleven A.M. on the 8th, four hours after I had completed the “delicate traverse” and had begun the straightforward ascent of the couloir, which was “beautiful climbing.” I descended the ridge for 100 meters to where I had left my rucksack and traversed 100 meters to the south face and the normal route. I climbed down the upper 200 meters and then rappelled the next 500 meters. Due to bad conditions on the south face, the descent took all afternoon and I reached the foot at 5:20 P.M. As it was getting dark and I was tired, I bivouacked there at 5700 meters and reached Base Camp the next day.

Vanja Furlan, Planinska zveza Slovenije