Rangtik Valley, Chareze Ri North, East-Northeast Ridge

India, Zanskar
Author: Luca Vallata. Climb Year: 2018. Publication Year: 2020.

FOR ABOUT a month starting in mid-August 2018, our Italian group explored the Rangtik Valley, inspired by the extremely useful report by Matija Jošt published in AAJ 2017. Our main goal was the first ascent of unnamed Peak 6,080m (H2 as designated on the Sakamoto sketch maps) toward the head of the valley.

After a period of acclimatization, Davide Limongi, Federico Martinelli, Enrico Mosetti, Federico Secchi, and I used the first good weather window to climb the obvious ridge bounding the left side of the northeast face. We spent August 30–31 on the route (one bivouac), at first in an ice couloir (70° maximum) and then on top-quality rock (V+ maximum) leading to the north summit at 5,959m.

We attempted to cross the very sharp connecting ridge to the main summit, from where we hoped there would be a better descent than reversing our route. However, after six pitches we were stopped about 200m short of the summit when nightfall caught us on the top of a small tower, forcing a retreat down the northwest face and a series of adventurous rappels in the dark.

Bad weather prevailed for the second half of our stay, preventing further attempts to reach the main top. Earlier in the trip, Limongi, Martinelli, and Secchi made the second ascent of Rolling Stones on Shawa Kangri (5,728m), first climbed in 2008 by Luc Pellissa and Sergi Ricart (AAJ 2010).

We named our route Jullay Temù (“Hello Bear” in Ladakhi, 1,000m, 25 pitches to the north top, V+ 70°, one piton left in place). A discrete family of Himalayan bears had visited the valley during our stay, leaving footprints and making suspicious noises at night. Our base camp staff, Lobsang and Sonam, would like to name the peak Chareze Ri, as this, they explained, is a type of stupa that resembled our summit.

– Luca Vallata, Italy

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