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Gurla Mandhata Expedition

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Well, it has finally come together…The IMG Gurla Mandhata 2006 Expedition. I will be leading a team of 3 climbers up the 7128 meter peak in West Tibet this autumn.

First attempted by Tom Longstaff in 1905, the peak has seen surprisingly few ascents – only a total of 12 by my research. While the climbing route is fairly straightforward, it will be more exploratory than most modern expeditions in the Himalaya: we will be the only ones on the mountain, and will likely not see any signs of other expeditions. It will be quite a nice change from the crowds of Everest and Cho Oyu!

The approach will be amazing as well. After much planning and worrying about the political situation in Nepal, we decided to go in via Simikot in the western region of the country. Fortunately, the Maoists have largely laid down their arms and are again at the peace table, so the trip should go smoothly from that perspective.

From Simikot, we’ll trek north to the Tibetan border, cross into Tibet, and then go to Mt. Kailash, the holy mountain for Hindus & Buddhists. We’ll have a 3 day circuit of Kailash, making the holy kora or circumambulation, before heading west to Tsaprang and the ruins of the 9th century Guge Kingdom.

After Guge, we will again head south through Darchen and on to the mountain itself.

Our team is a great one:

Jake Norton, Leader
Kirk Allen, Climber
David Golden, Climber
Stuart Sloat, Climber
Cynthia Dodson, Trekker
Panuru Sherpa, Sirdar
Pemba Sherpa, Cook
Karma Rita Sherpa, Climbing Sherpa
Mingma Tshering Sherpa, Climbing Sherpa
Bal Bahadur Gharti, Assistant Cook

I am in the process of putting together a blog for the expedition which I will update with text, audio, and photos via satellite phone…Stay tuned!

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