American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Asia, Nepal, Mahalangur Himal - Khumbu Section, Kyajo Ri (6,186m), Southwest Ridge, Possible First Solo Ascent; Teningbo (5,839m), First Known Ascent, North Face

  • Climbs And Expeditions
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  • Publication Year: 2009

Kyajo Ri (6,186m), southwest ridge, possible first solo ascent; Teningbo (5,839m), first known ascent, north face. Eight Czech and Slovak climbers, led by Martin Otta, visited the Kyajo Glacier. Our aim was to repeat the southwest ridge of Kyajo Ri, and then make the first ascent of the unattempted west face. From Namche Bazar it took less than two days via Mende to reach base camp at 4,500m in the Kyajo Drangka. Seven of our eight climbers reached the summit of Kyajo Ri by the southwest ridge on three consecutive days. I made the last ascent, on October 18, alone. It may be the first solo ascent, but was certainly my first Himalayan summit (D 50-55°).

Finding the west face unfeasible from our valley, Martin Otta and I switched objectives to the north face of Teningbo (5,839m on the Gokyo Three Passes trekking map, but we felt this was 50-100m too low). This fine snow/ice pyramid lies south of Kyajo Ri, on the ridge running southeast from unnamed Peak 5,912m. The north face is 550m high. We bivouacked at 5,250m on the Kyajo Glacier, and the next day, October 21, started up the face at 9 a.m. Although it looked icy from the ground, the face turned out to be broken rock, patched with loose snow/ice and offering few reliable belays and little protection. Fortunately, the slope was 50-70°, so we were able to move together, with anchors 60m apart. Martin remarked, “Well, Vilo, if one of us falls now, the only thing the other guy can do is close his eyes.” It was unpleasant, but the weather was good, and we are used to climbing more difficult routes. Still, my toes remember the -20°C cold. We climbed the center of the face to reach the northwest ridge 100m below the top and attained the summit at 2 p.m. We rappeled the northwest ridge, before heading down the north face. We named our route Thank You. This accessible valley has other mountains to offer, notably Kapsale, Chhedan, and Phuletate, all between 5,500 and 5,600m and with no known ascents.

Vilo Jakubec, Slovakia

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