David Gottlieb climbing on the south face of Kang Nachugo. Joe Puryear and David Gottlieb have made the first ascent of Kang Nachugo (6,735m) in the Himalya. They have described the peak as:
"A visual centerpiece of a major Himalayan valley... a peak that hundreds of trekkers and climbers pass by every year; a peak so prominent, you can view from its summit six 8,000-meter peaks.. this is extraordinary"
On an early attempt on the 1800m South Face, the pair were forced back 400 metres below the summit due to bad weather. The team then focussed their energies on the West Ridge, and made a succesful ascent, alpine style over 5 days.
"One main problem with the ridge though was getting on it. Nearly the whole of it on the south side was a massive wall covered in huge vertical and overhanging rock bands. And what didn't have cliffs, had hangers. Our only chance looked to be near the lowest point in the crest between the western subpeak of Chekigo and the main summit, giving us a wonderful journey along the entire crest. Still though 500 meters of terribly broken glacier and a 600 meter fluted ice and mixed headwall strewn with occasional seracs near the crest were to be required to ascend just to reach the ridge."
To view an excellent photo gallery of the ascent, and for an in-depth trip report, visit their blog: www.climbnepal.blogspot.com