Exploration 101: How to attempt an Unclimbed Peak

unclimbed peak

It’s autumn season now and we are excited to announce our plans to attempt a magnificent unclimbed peak in the northern region of Nepal. This approximately 22,000+’ peak is unclimbed, so we will be making the first attempt to climb to the summit.  People often ask, how did you put together such an expedition?  Without having records of others to utilize, we have done careful and lengthy research to identify this peak, and planned how we can best make a safe and successful attempt to reach the top.  We have sourced the necessary equipment & supplies, planned a trekking route to access the base of the mountain, and scouted possible routes to the summit (with Google Earth).  We also have obtained permission from the Ministry of Tourism in Nepal to climb this peak, and organized the logistics of trekking to the base with all of our team and supplies.  All of the effort required to put together such an expedition is a lot more complicated and time consuming than a more ‘standard’ peak, such as Everest, or the “7 Summits“, where vast amounts of information exist to understand how one would plan such endeavors, as well as detailed information regarding the route.  In the spirit of exploration and discovering new frontiers, we have taken upon ourselves the challenge of venturing into the unknown!  We have prepared ourselves the best we can in our physical fitness, technical climbing, and understanding of what may lay ahead, but ultimately we don’t know what we will find up high on this mountain, we do know that we will be challenged!

Why, you may ask, have we not publicly identified the name of this peak?  Well, the answer is that we are aware of other climbers currently on the hunt for unclimbed peaks in Nepal, who want very much to claim a ‘first ascent’ of a virgin peak, so we have deliberately kept the name a secret.   Last year, I had shared detailed information regarding our 2016 Unclimbed Peak project in the Nepal Gokyo region, and when we had to delay our expedition, one of the individuals I had shared the specifics with decided to go about climbing it on her own, and was successful.  I’m happy for her that she succeeded in accomplishing her goal and did so safely.  Obviously, every individual has the right to pursue their own path in life and in climbing, however, I was a bit disappointed that after all of our research, planning, and anticipation, that I had let this peak slip away simply because I assumed that those I shared the information with in confidence would not use it to their advantage to climb the peak before we did.

Our 2017 ‘first ascent’ expedition team is comprised of 6 very experienced mountaineers led by Sid Pattison and myself, along with a few of our most trusted climbing Sherpas from Nepal.  All of our team has extensive experience climbing in the Himalayas and at high altitude, most have already reached the top of Everest.  We plan to begin trekking from the small village of Lukla in late October and reach our base camp by the end of the month, where we then will begin making forays up onto the steep ridglines of this high altitude alpine objective.  We will be tracking our route from the beginning of the trek to the summit with GPS using a Garmin InReach, so you can follow our daily progress here on our dispatch page.  Below is a Google Earth image of the peak.

For information regarding our first ascent expedition on this unclimbed peak, please contact our office.

To ‘Higher Places’! -Garrett Madison


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