American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing
Black Diamond Logo

Peak ca 5,840m, South Face and West Ridge

Nepal, Rolwaling Himal

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Author: Lindsay Griffin
  • Climb Year: 2017
  • Publication Year: 2019

On November 5, 2017, Tore Sunde-Rasmussen (Norway),Dawa Tashi Sherpa, Tamting Sherpa, and Thundu Sherpa made the first ascent of an unnamed peak of about 5,840m (at approximately 27°56'29.93"N, 86°21'54.94"E) on the long east ridge of Dolma Kang (the formal new name of the peak locally called Tseringma, 6,332m); this ridge runs along the Nepal-Tibet border toward Beding Go (6,125m).

Sunde-Rasmussen writes:

Sherpas and kitchen staff had established base camp (4,750m) before I arrived. They had also set the route and found the most optimal way up the mountain. So when I flew in to base camp by helicopter on October 31, a lot of work had been done. Due to the sudden arrival at altitude, I had a hard night, with nausea and strong headache, and had to rest several days before thinking about climbing the mountain.

Summit day was set to be November 5, but at 9 a.m. on the 4th it began to snow heavily, and we thought this would retard the summit attempt. Therefore Thundu Sherpa started to burn incense to make the bad weather disappear. And the miracle happened. We could hardly believe our eyes. When the first smoke went up in the air, the snow stopped falling, and soon after the clouds began to dissipate, then the sun broke through and we could see, once again, the mountains around us.

We started next day at 2.30 a.m., scrambling through boulders. There were several steeper rocky sections before we came to snow slopes, which rose to 60°. These slopes led to the south face, which was full of loose rock (IV+) and stonefall. Some short sections were 80°. One falling rock hit my arm and caused a large bruise. Another hit my helmet hard. [Several hundred meters of rope were fixed at various steep sections along the route.]

We exited the face and found a sharp, narrow ridge leading right for around 50m. The narrowest section I estimated to be approximately 10cm. We tried at first to follow the crest, then used a ramp on the right flank, after which we climbed directly to the summit. The time was around 10 a.m. The descent, particularly the rappelling, was a little demanding due to rockfall, but we were back in base camp 12 hours after leaving. We named our line of ascent the Norwegian Tore Route (Norske Torerute). Next day we flew by helicopter to Kathmandu.

The team thought they were making an ascent of Dolma Kang (6,332m), but detailed analysis of their images by the Himalayan Database confirmed the location as the unnamed peak of about 5,840m.

Officially opened in 2014, Dolma Kang (a.k.a. Tseringma) has been climbed five times previously by parties engaged on the southeast ridge of Gauri, the 7,010m south summit of Gaurishankar. Approaching from the east in April 1980, Patrick Cullinan's Australian expedition climbed a steep gully on the left side of the southeast face of Dolma Kang to reach the upper south ridge, which they followed to the summit. The ascent had proved difficult, and they had no time to tackle the complex corniced ridge leading ahead toward Gauri.

In the autumn of the same year, a large Japanese team climbed the southeast face of Dolma Kang and then pushed a little further along the southeast ridge of Gauri, retreating from around 6,400m in bad weather. Much the same team returned in the autumn of 1984, reclimbed the southeast ridge of Dolma Kang, and, after fixing a total of 8,000m of rope, completed the southeast ridge to the top of Gauri, negotiating a "traverse of hell" at approximately 6,350m. Dolma Kang also was reached by a British team attempting Gauri's southeast ridge in 1995, and a German expedition in 2008, which approached along the east ridge.

– Lindsay Griffin, with additional information supplied by Tore Sunde-Rasmussen, Norway; David Goettler, Germany; Tobias Pantel (Germany), The Himalayan Database, and Rodolphe Popier (France), The Himalayan Database

This AAJ article has been reformatted into HTML. Please contact us if you spot an error.

Photos and Topos Click photo to view full size and see caption