Tengi Ragi Tau Southeast, West Face and Southwest Ridge, Screaming Barfies

Nepal, Rolwaling Himal
Author: Matija Volontar. Climb Year: 2022. Publication Year: 2023.

Screaming Barfies on the west face and southwest ridge of Tengi Ragi Tau Southeast (a.k.a. Phamlahaka, 6,141m). Photo by Matija Volontar.

Bor Levičnik, Žiga Oražem, and I left Slovenia on October 1. When we arrived in Kathmandu, a national holiday meant flights to Lukla were not operating. Instead, we drove to Ramechhap, southeast of Kathmandu, where the nearest airport with a flight to Lukla was available. The weather was poor at Ramechhap and we realized flights over the next few days would be questionable. Rather than wait, we continued north by road to Kharikhola (2,250m) and then made a four-day trek to Thyambo/ Thengpo village in the Thame Valley, where we made our base camp.

We acclimatized by walking toward Tashi Lapcha Pass as high as 5,200m, and later by climbing the east ridge of Tengi Ragi Tau Southeast (6,141m, a.k.a. Phamlahaka or Yasa Thak) as far as the east shoulder at around 6,000m. Our initial goal was the south ridge of Tengi Ragi Tau, but the unclimbed west face of the southeast summit motivated us to change our plans.

image_6We left base camp on October 23 and walked toward the Tashi Lapcha Pass before heading up to the bottom of the west face at around 5,300m, which we reached via two pitches of steep rock. We spent the night here and the next day climbed for nine hours up the right side of the face. We had two half ropes but used only one of them on the route, climbing much of the terrain simultaneously. The initial pitches were steep, sustained ice and mixed. The angle then eased to around 70°, and the climbing was rather mellow until just below the southwest ridge, where we met a steep rock section. After climbing this, we followed the ridge to the summit; this wasn’t as easy as we anticipated, with a few steep rock steps. [This is the last section of the 2004 route Le Sourire de Mingma; see AAJ 2005.]

After a short party on the summit, we descended the southeast ridge to the east shoulder and continued down the east ridge, following our tracks from the acclimatization climb. Locals told us that the mountain was unclimbed, but we now know we were the third party on the summit [for a brief history see AAJ 2022]. It was very cold and windy on the route, hence the name: Screaming Barfies (1,100m, UIAA V AI5 90°).

— Matija Volontar, Slovenia

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