Saturday, November 14, 2015

2015 Menthosa Expedition

The 2015 Menthosa expedition started out in Manali, we drove North into Lahaul, and then set our first camp in the village of Urgus, and began to acclimatize. It rained for three days straight without stopping, bringing a huge snow load onto our objective. I decided to pack up the expedition, and move the entire thing North into Ladakh and fairer weather. Over the following weeks, we successfully climbed two aesthetic 6000 meter peaks. Brief below. -Luke

Drying out camp in Urgus after the storm.
Enroute to the Changtang, we stopped briefly in Pang.

30 Sept 2015 | 4600m | Korzok Phu | 0758

The team is feeling well, and today we will walk up to high camp for 6250m Mentok Kangri 1.  Tonight, we will rise in the early morning hours, put on our double boots, and begin climbing to the summit.
There is not a single cloud in the sky,
Camp beneath the Mentoks.
and it is harvest season for the pashm goats around us.  There are about 5000 goats and sheep in this valley, with the landscape dotted with yak hair tents
Base camp in the Mentoks.
of their Changpa owners, and the smoke of dung fires keeping their families warm, and fed by a cooking fire.  The quiet is nice, and the
The 17 year experienced cook, Phuntsok Dorje, styles out a pizza on the base camp stove.
cold air brings the sound of children off in a distant meadow, playing and watching their livestock.  The moon is full, and one can see forever, to Tibet, to distant mountains to the North, and there is only time to think, and breathe, and reflect amongst the silence.  The climbing is only the icing on the cake, being here is truly  as good as it gets.

4 October 2015 | 5450m | Mentok Kangri BC | 0830

A trailside mani stone.

mentok kangri 1
Press play. Lars Andersson on the summit of Mentok 1.
We trekked to base camp several days ago, had a day of rest the following day, and climbed Mentok Kangri yesterday.  We took a steeper route this time, climbing directly up the glacier headwall to the ridgeline, then to climb to the summit ridge in three pitches.  During past ascents, we did not rope up for this section, however this time we found ice and snow where there is normally dry rock. Reaching the 6005m summit that demarcates the top of the ridgeline, we continued to the summit of Mentok Kangri 1 in blustery
Climbing up the Mentok headwall in alpine style.
conditions, reaching base camp at 2000 that night, for a 17 hour day that normally takes 8 hours (!).

Everyone crashed in their tents, and the following morning, we packed up and headed for

lower altitudes and some good rest next to Lake Tsomoriri in the shepherd camp of Peldo, where we are now.

7 October 2015 | 5456m | Changtang Peaks camp | 0735

Looking out on Lake Tsomoriri.
Yesterday, we climbed a peak we named "Changtang Kailas" for its round shape. Topping out at just over 6000 meters,
The group on the summit of Changtang Kailas.
it made for a great summit for the whole group. From the top, we had great views of high Lungser and Chamsser Kangri, along with many remote 6000m peaks along the Tibetan border.
Resting and relaxing in the dining tent.
It's windy and cold in October on the Changtang plateau, and I'm looking forward to getting to Nepal in a few days.