Tengkangpoche, Cholatse, Chobutse: New routes in the Everest region

Tengkangpoche (seen from Thame), on the right the Northeast Pillar
Tengkangpoche (seen from Thame), on the right the Northeast Pillar

The two top British climbers Tom Livingstone and Matt Glenn have succeeded in a sensational first ascent in the Khumbu. According to Tom, they opened a new route via the Northeast Pillar of the 6,487-meter-high Tengkangpoche. “We spent seven days on the route, which was one of the trickier things I’ve done,” the 30-year-old wrote on Instagram.

“A bit of the battle”

Tom Livingstone (l.) and Matt Glenn on the summit of Kengtangpoche
Tom Livingstone (l.) and Matt Glenn on the summit of Kengtangpoche

It had been “hard mixed climbing”, Tom summarized: “We often wished for easier ground but instead found further cruxes. I think this route was a deeply testing experience, both mentally and physically.”

The two climbers called the 1400-meter route “Massive Attack” – “it was a bit of a battle,” Livingstone said. The pillar had been a too hard nut to crack for top climbers several times: in 2019, for example, the Canadian Quentin Roberts and the Finn Juho Knuutilla had turned back at almost 6,000 meters.

Another Piolet d’Or winner succeeds in a first ascent

Chobutse
Chobutse in the Rolwaling Valley

Livingstone, together with Slovenians Ales Cesen and Luka Strazar, had been awarded the Piolet d’Or, the “mountaineering Oscar,” in 2019 for their new route on the north side of the 7,125-meter-high Latok 1 in Pakistan.

Last week, Strazar and his compatriot Nejc Marcic made another first ascent – not far from Tengkangpoche: in the Rolwaling Valley. There, the two Slovenians opened a new route through the West Face of the 6,663-meter-high Chobutse.

Route dedicated to three missing climbers

New French route on Cholatse
New French route on Cholatse

Also last week, a five-member French team from the expedition squad of the French mountaineering federation FFCAM climbed a new route on the north side of Cholatse, located in the Khumbu, to the summit at 6,440 meters. Anouk Felix Faure, Pauline Champon, Pierrick Fine, Pierrick Giffard and Stéphane Benoist called their route “Brothers in Arms” and dedicated it to their missing friends Thomas Arfi, Louis Pachoud and Gabriel Miloche.

The trio had – as reported – apparently been buried by an avalanche during an attempt on nearby 6,017-meter-high Minbo Ider. There is no longer any hope of recovering them alive. The search for the three climbers has been suspended for the time being. 

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