Tibetan "Matterhorn" Climbed

By Dougald MacDonald ,

Mick Fowler and Chris Watts have made the first ascent of Kajaqiao, a striking 6447-meter peak in eastern Tibet. The Britons took six days to climb the peak via the West Face and Northwest Ridge, with about 1100 meters of technical climbing; they needed another three days to descend. Although the climbing was not extreme, Fowler said, “Weather conditions were wild. About 1.5 meters of snow fell whilst we were on the way up, and the temperature was consistently less than –20 degrees [C, –4°F] with 50 mph-plus winds.” The two climbed alpine-style.

Fowler, who is among the most successful alpinists in British climbing history, wrote in an email, “I would certain rank it as one of the best mountaineering ventures I’ve been on.”

Kajaqiao from the south. The Fowler/Watts route lies on the far side of the peak. Photo by Adam Thomas.

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