Solo New Route in Nepal

By Dougald MacDonald ,

Briton Nick Bullock soloed a new route on the unclimbed north side of Teng Kangpoche (6500 meters) in the Khumbu region of Nepal, although he didn’t quite make the summit. Bullock, Jules Cartwright and Al Powell earlier attempted a more difficult route on the north face, reaching around halfway up the face after two days of climbing. But Bullock became severely ill that night, passing out and vomiting, and the three descended in the morning. A week later, Bullock and Cartwright made a second attempt, reaching the previous high point in a day. High winds blew ice and rocks down the route, and spindrift avalanches nearly knocked both climbers off the face. (Bullock had to literally dive to grab a fixed wire during one spindrift episode.) They tried to wait out the storm for a day, but conditions continued to be poor and they descended on the third day. Bullock rested and then a few days later went up the mountain alone via an easer line on the northeast face. He reached the east ridge via snow and mixed climbing up to Scottish Grade V, threatened by serac falls, and then continued to a bivouac at about 6350 meters, after 13 hours of climbing. In the morning, Bullock tried for the summit but found the final ridge heavily crevassed and too dangerous for solo climbing. He descended via rappels and downclimbing and called the route to the east ridge Love and Hate.

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