/ Climbing Pisang Peak - Nepal
Climbed Pisang last year - the 'normal' route may not be what you have heard about, depending on who is talking. The old route was a relatively straight forward snow route, but I believe, was very prone to avalanche, and had a number of large fatal slides recently. As such, the new standard route is a different style and line. Find out which you plan on.
The line we took (remember, this is the Himalaya, you wont find a route map or anyone who can describe these to you like you would in the alps), passed through some rotten rock bands on the leftish buttress (looking at it from Pisang village), and rotten steep snow. There were a few rock slabs up high that we climbed (again mainly rotten rock), and a few that we traversed out onto the face to by-pass where feasible (the face looked dangerous in those conditions), but it was a toss up between rotton snow and rotton rock! Then a short fun snow arete to the top, and great views.
We climbed the route without fixed lines, and used some old lines to down climb and generally slide back down... Though the pitons looked fatal - old metal, bad rock.
Not sure if this was the standard line, as we didn't pass a lot of tat on the way up, but quite a bit on the way down (maybe simply because it is dark on the way up?). We spoke to some Basque boys who (through my broken spanish), we gathered were looking at a similar line, and had heard similar avalanche issues with the old route.
As for shoes, two had the new scarpa 6,000, and one the Baruntse. Baruntse man didn't top out, he was too tired and the rock frightened him, feet still warm though. I used two axes for climbing, it was not technical, but I would not have wanted just one. Though on the upper slabs there were some exposed moves, a rock over I remember vividly in a small vertical crack, with a long move to a torque (off vertical, but strenuous at that height if you are a sh1t climber like me) and some standing on slabby ground in crampons on nubbins etc., where I was conscious of the danger of a fall at that point.
Then again, if you do the old route, all on snow, one axe may suffice, or you may be a M grade demon and laugh at it - but I cant really comment on that. One of the Phantom shoed men got cold feet (he gets cold feet though), but it warmed up once the sun came out. If you have any more Q's, drop me an email and I'll see if I can remember any more, or answer specific questions.
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