Teng Kangpoche, Nepal

North - East Pillar
Teng Kangpoche, Nepal
(ED3+ VII 5.11 A4 WI6 M8)

John Furneaux, Paul Bride and myself spent a total of 25 days in Nepal.

Base camp was at 4350 meters and Paul made it to 5000 meters, coming
away with amazing video, digital and film images.

John and I climbed for a total of 14 days, climbing the hardest terrain we have ever experienced physically and mentally. We made it to 5700 meters and established camp 3 before a seven day storm stopped our progress and used up the rest of our resources to the point we could not make the summit if we continued. We rappelled safely back to base camp in a complete whiteout. I'm proud of John and I. We picked a safe route, climbed hard and came back alive and happy. Altitude is very hard to deal with. Even acclimatized you can only ever take 10 steps at a time, climb 10 feet up the rope or swing your axe for 30 seconds before your bent over and gasping for breath.

We were very acclimatized because of the steepness of the rock and the difficulty of the terrain which forced us to climb slowly and we rapped down every night to our high camp. John had also climbed at high altitude three times in the past summer including Mt. Kenya, Kilimanjaro and Mt. Logan. Unfortunately altitude is such a hard game and sea level rules just don't apply. At 5000 meters we could see Makalu, AmaDablam and the biggest of them all... Everest, taking over the skyline. This was my view everyday on our 7000 foot wall. It was magic. Having made it to the head wall we had only 400 meters of easy splitter cracks to climb and a knife edge ridge to reach the 6500 meter summit. 14 parties have attempted the route over the years and John and I did not see any sign of past climbers on the route and according to records we have succeeded well beyond past attempts. We climbed pitches rated WI6, M8, A4 and 5.11. We climbed capsule style but had seven ropes to fix and one tent. This may have been a mistake. Because of the altitude it would take nearly half the day or more to ascend the ropes. Since we had a tent and no portaledge we had to go out of our way to find suitable ledges to dig out for a bivi. Next time we will bring two ropes, a tent and a portaledge to make us faster. If this was the case we may of had enough resources left over to wait out the storm and continue on to the summit. I learned a lot during this trip and can't wait to return.