What happens when you team up an experienced rock climber with one of the UK’s leading alpinists, throw in an unclimbed six thousand metre peak in Western Nepal, and mix?
It’s a dangerous business, email. As a newcomer to Himalayan mountaineering, this escapade stemmed from a simple one-liner sent to Mick Fowler on a whim in early April 2011 when I heard Paul Ramsden had pulled out of Mick’s planned trip in the autumn. ‘Potentially interested in Nepal’, it read. Within minutes Mick was on the phone, and before I knew it I’d committed to spending October strapped to an unclimbed face in a remote part of Western Nepal.
My only Himalayan experience up to that point was doing the Everest trek from Jiri the year I left school. After that I’d dabbled with the Alps, but generally opted for adventurous rock climbing in the tropics and desert regions rather than snowy peaks. I put this down to an experience in 1990 when Frank Ramsay and I shared a 3-day epic on Mont Gruetta. This was to be our ‘warm-up’ route for the Eiger, but after being hit by a TV sized block, falling into a crevasse, and skewering my shin with a crampon, we binned the idea and scuttled off home.Purchase This Issue | Subscribe | Return back to Issue 86