Asia, India, Himachal Pradesh, Kinnaur, Rangrik Range, West Ridge

Publication Year: 2009.

Rangrik Rang, west ridge. In October three French aspirant guides,

Sylvain Audibert, Odilon Ferran, and Jeremy Rumebe, made the second ascent of Rangrik Rang (6,553m) by a new route up the west ridge. On the only previous attempt, in June 1994, Chris Bonington, Muslim Contractor, Jim Fotheringham, Graham Little, Jim Lowther, Divyesh Muni, Paul Nunn, and Pasang Bodh reached the summit by the northeast ridge, after fixing ropes up a steep snow face to the col at the base of the ridge separating Rangrik Rang from Mangla (5,800m).

The three French drove to Lambar, then following the footsteps of the 1994 team, walked for four days to arrive, on September 21, at base camp (4,200m) close to the start of the Racha Khad valley. The following day they established an advanced base on the Racha Khad Glacier at 5,000m, finding one meter of unconsolidated snow. They spent the next week at base camp trying to acclimatize, while hoping conditions would improve. The north face had been a possible objective, but it proved unfeasible, so on October 1 they set off from advanced base for the west ridge. Following the crest, which at first rises south before turning east, they camped on a small subsidiary summit, which they mistakenly referred to as 5,800m Mangla. Next day they abandoned some of their gear, including the tent, by throwing it down the north face. This set off an avalanche. The three continued up the crest, over a rocky buttress (UIAA III), and on to the summit, where they arrived at 5 p.m. They stopped here for the night.

On the morning of the 3rd the team made a cautious descent of the original route and reached base camp that day. Realizing that the mountains were too laden with snow for other ascents, they descended to Lambar and put up two rock routes on the surrounding granite cliffs: Taffonies (six pitches, 6c and Al), and a five-pitch route of 7b and A2, which terminated below the summit of a fine aiguille.

Adapted from and notes provided by Harish Kapadia, Honorary Editor, The

Himalayan Journal