Asia, Nepal, Upper Dolpo, Kumbhakarna Himal, Merra, Third Known Ascent

Publication Year: 2008.

Merra, third known ascent. A month after the Russians summited Merra (6,334m), the mountain was climbed again, this time by a French party that appears to have more or less followed the Russian route. Lionel and Vincent Palandre, Nicolas Rosset, and Pasang Phutar Sherpa set up an advanced base at 4,700m, most likely at the same point as the Danes in 2006 (see above). They appear to have made a higher camp in the moraine-covered glacial valley at 5,200m on November 3, after which Pasang Phutar reconnoitred the way ahead and decided to follow the west bank of the westerly glacier flow. On the 4th the team climbed up the left side of the glacier and then crossed it diagonally to the right to place a second camp at 5,800m. Pasang Phutar then fixed 15m of rope above this camp and on the following day all four climbers set out for the summit at 3 a.m. They climbed the 50° south face directly to the east-northeast ridge and then on up the crest (35°, but sharp and tricky where corniced) with good snow conditions, to the final 25m, where a rocky arÍte led to the highest point. The time was 7:10 a.m. They returned safely to advanced base on the 6th.

Elizabeth Hawley, AAC Honorary Member, Nepal and Richard Salisbury,

The Himalayan Database