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Dangxung, Southeast Ridge

Dongxung is the most northerly of a duster of peaks, several more than 6,000m, that lie a short distance south of the town of Yangbajain (Yangpachen). These peaks lie south of, but close to, the southwestern end of the Nyanchen Tanglha. Only one is known to have been climbed previously: the highest, Beu-tse (6,270m, AAJ 2004). Li Lan and I visited the area from May 7-12 with hopes to climb two or three peaks. We approached from the valley southeast of Maruguo village, camping the night of the 8th on the glacier at ca 5,700m. Because of our rapid altitude gain, we decided to rest on the 9th, during which time I spent two hours walking to the base of Dongxung to check out the southeast ridge.

Thinking the ridge was short, we didn’t leave camp until 9:20 a.m. on the 10th. It proved longer—or we were slower—than we thought. We reached the start of the rocky ridge at 11:30 a.m., and then either followed the crest or the left flank, not reaching the summit until 4:40 p.m. My watch read 6,095m. We regained camp at 10:10 p.m., one hour after dark.

We slept late on the 11th. It was misty and snowing a little, but we decided to stay for another night, hoping to attempt the north ridge of Beu-tse. However, the following day was also misty, and we'd now run out of toilet paper, not to mention motivation. We trekked out to Maruguo and hired motorcycles to reach the main road near Yangbajain. We named our route The Present after a Chinese pop song we both love. The grade is III/IV 5.5 M2 35° snow.