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Asia, Nepal, Raksha Urai Massif, First Attempt

Raksha Urai Massif, First Attempt. In far western Nepal, a team of 14 Austrians had some difficulty getting through a very deep gorge to their virgin massif of Raksha Urai, which is east of two better-known mountains, Api and Nampa, and west-northwest of the more distant Saipal. No climbers are known to ever have attempted Raksha Urai, which has six summits between about 6500 and 6600 meters high. The Austrians, led by Guenther Mussnig, were told at the Dhula village police checkpost nearest to their mountain that they were the first foreigners ever seen at the post.

The Austrians reported that four of Raksha Urai’s peaks are entirely composed of unstable rock, while the other two are snow domes with an ice face or ice ridge below. This expedition was unable to make much climbing progress because of unstable snow on the lower slopes and avalanches “everywhere” from frequent new snowfall while they were there in the first half of October. Their attempts to climb two of the peaks got no higher than 5100 and 5200 meters.

Elizabeth Hawley