Monda Kangri (6,425m), West Peak (6,292m), first ascents. Two Japanese parties have visited the Monda Kangri massif. The second party, consisting mainly of Hida Mountaineering Club members, made the first ascent of its main peak in 2007. The first party, in 2004, reached 6,100m by climbing its west glacier (Japanese Alpine News Vol.6) but were stopped by insuperable crevasses. Because the glacier is so complex, routes up the long but stable ridges seemed key to a successful climb.
Monda Kangri is only 140km south of Lhasa, and base camp near Lake Phulma can be reached in a day’s drive. The 2007 party arrived at their 4,950m BC on September 9 and left on the 19th. They climbed the west ridge, which led to the 6,292m peak west of the main summit—West Peak or Peak III. From here they followed the main ridge to the top of Monda’s main summit.
Lower parts of the west ridge were guarded by steep rock bands, but the team placed 200m of fixed rope and set C2 at 5,500m. On the 14th eight members made the first ascent of the West Peak from C2. On September 18 two members of the Hida Mountaineering Club connected the West and main peaks. I know no further details of the ascent. I came to know of this party’s ascent of Monda Kangri through an account written by a member of the party, Shigeo Tamichi, who had joined the team from the Fukui Section of the Japanese Alpine Club and reported the ascent in the JAC monthly bulletin Yama No.753. I contacted the Hida Mountaineering Club, but they were reluctant to give information because of trouble with payment of the climbing fee. It is disappointing that a mountaineer would hide what he has done. If the Hida MC thought the fee unreasonable, they might not pay it, but they should announce their reasons and publish the records. If reasonable, they should pay the fee.
Kei Kurachi, Japan