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Asia, Nepal, Chandi Himal, Changwatang (6,130m), Second Ascent, West Ridge

Changwatang (6,130m), second ascent, west ridge. Five Japanese led by Michihiro Honda and four experienced Sherpas made the second ascent of Changwatang, a summit just south of the Tibetan border peaks of the Chandi Himal, due north of Simikot airport. This summit was added to the permitted list in 2002 but was first climbed in 2000 by Tamotsu Ohnishi’s Japanese team, via the west face from the Talsolu Khola. The Chandi Himal lies between historic trade-route passes of Lapche La and Changi La.

Honda’s team had a permit to attempt Takphu Himal (Ishang, 6,395m, on the HMG Finn map), but the Japanese were likely after the 6,422m summit to the south attempted by Ohnishi in 2000. Takphu Himal lies in the border range of the Nalakandar Himal, west of Simikot (of which the highest summit is an unnamed peak of 6,422m), but on reaching the village below the mountain, the Japanese were forbidden to progress farther by locals, who believed climbing would precipitate natural disasters.

Instead the expedition trekked northeast, put a base camp at 4,700m, some distance from Changwatang, and placed two more camps, the highest at 5,700m, at the foot of the west ridge. From here it took only a few hours to climb the south face to the upper west ridge and make the second ascent of the mountain. Two members skied from the summit to the high camp.

Lindsay Griffin, Mountain INFO, and Richard Salisbury, The Himalayan Database