Asia, Nepal, Rowaling Himal, Tengkanpoche, North Pillar, Attempt
Tengkangpoche, north pillar, attempt. Paul Bride, John Furneaux, and I attempted the unclimbed north pillar of Tengkangpoche (6,487m). Base camp was at 4,350m and Paul made it as far as 5,000m, capturing an amazing series of video, digital, and film images. John and I spent 14 days on the route, climbing the hardest terrain that we have ever experienced, both physically and mentally. We started climbing on October 10 at 4,800m. Camp 1 was pitched at 5,150m after three days climbing, Camp 2 at 5,350m on day five, and Camp 3 at 5,600m on day seven. Our high point was 5,800m on day nine. On day 10 we rappelled to the base of the pillar in a seven-day storm. The route was at least ED3: we climbed pitches with difficulties up to WI6, M8, A4 and 5.11, and did not see any sign of previous passage on our chosen line. Having made it to the headwall, we only appeared to have 400m of easy splitter cracks, followed by a knife-edge ridge, to reach the summit. Records suggest we got well past previous high points on this pillar, and once above 5,000m the view from the wall encompassed Ama Dablam, Everest, and Makalu. I learned a lot during this trip and can’t wait to return.
Matt Maddaloni, Canada