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Asia, Nepal, Jugal Himal, Triange Peak, Attempt on West (Southwest) Couloir

Triangle Peak, attempt on west (southwest) couloir. By October 1, 2001 all of our gear was at Pemthang Karpo Kharkha (4,675m), our campsite in the Langtang Valley. It used to be a classic stop for pirates on route to Xixabangma. Looking north from there, on the left wall of the Langtang Glacier, there is an arête descending between Karpo (6,875m) and Langtang Ri (7,205m). The route was more than evident: a couloir facing west, where ice appeared to run from bottom to top. There were no seracs but it still looked a pretty stiff climb, with ramps of blue ice, chutes, and columns. After making two acclimatization climbs to 5,800m we left on October 17 with big rucksacks and climbed from the 18th-20th. We progressed unroped at first up snow to 75°. The chute, sandwiched between two big rock walls, was two vertical pitches of poor snow ice, above which there were easier angled slopes of hard black ice. It was easy to see the drop between both front points of the same crampon. What surprised us was there was nowhere horizontal on which to bivouac. In the end we spent the night on the lower part of the second icefield. In addition, each of the two days we were on the face, mist enveloped us at midday. At 6,100m, in the middle of a monotonous 70° ice slope and with no real visibility, we decided to go down. Although we seemed to be around 150m below the col at the top of the couloir, the mist, wind, and almost constant stone and ice fall were both dangerous and miserable. If the mind is telling you it doesn’t want to go on anymore, then there is no col that can serve as an excuse, even if it was almost within sight. We began a series of 100m rappels (we climbed on a 100m rope doubled and carried a spare of the same length and 8mm diameter in the rucksack) and bivouacked again in the same spot, reaching the bottom of the face on the following day.

We achieved no summit, nor did we reach a ridge, so perhaps it is not relevant to give our climb a name. Our satisfaction was in climbing and returning in one piece. It was not a lengthy expedition but a major excursion. Furthermore, we can say to those who have already photographed this obvious line, “there is a way!” On the other hand, if we don’t say anything, people will call the route the Spanish (or Catalan) 2001 attempt, whereas in fact we both come from the same state, in the Pyrenees, Rigagorca.

Ribagorca attempt: west (southwest) couloir to west col (6,240m) of 6,600m Triangle Peak (October 2001, 1300m, VII 5 M X). Triangle Peak is a summit on the wall between Pemthang Karpo Ri (aka Dome Blanc, 6,830m) and Pemthang Ri (6,842m) on the long wall that runs northwest from Lenpo Gang (Big White Peak) to Hagen’s Col. There are many similar lines, all around 1,000-1,500m in height, leading to the ridge that forms the Nepal-Tibet border at ca 6,500m. Our line was chosen because it was only two hours across the Langtang Glacier and was not threatened by serac avalanche. However, it is important to emphasize that the stone fall was very serious.

Xavi Farré, Spain