American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Asia, Nepal, Kangchenjunga Himal, Chang Himnal, North Face

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 2010

Chang Himal, north face. In the autumn Nick Bullock and Andy Houseman made the first ascent of the 1,800m north face of Chang Himal (6,802m). The pair climbed the central spur in four days, finding the main difficulties on a series of rock bands, the second of which provided the crux at Scottish 7 mixed. The total amount of climbing was nearly 2,400m, often precarious and runout, with Peruvian-like steep, unconsolidated flutings in the upper section. The ascent was nominated for the 2010 Piolets d’Or; a full account by Houseman appears earlier in the Journal.

Brought onto the list of permitted peaks by the Nepalese Government in 2002, Chang Himal was referred to as Wedge Peak by the 1930 Kangchenjunga expedition. But it is also known as Ramtang Chang, perhaps the name that best identifies this summit. Chang means north, and Ramtang Chang rises north (actually northwest) of 6,601m Ramtang, a peak in the shadow of Kangchenjunga first climbed in 1930 by Frank Smythe. Bullock and Housemans ascent of the north face was the first official ascent of the peak, though it had been summited previously. In the spring of 1974 a large Slovenian expedition climbed Kangbachen, the western subsidiary summit of Kangchenjunga. Taking time out from that ascent, Janez Gradisar, Bojan Poliak, and Michael Smola made an unauthorized climb of the long snowy southwest ridge of Chang Himal.

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