The Chief Instructor of Wu-Wei Dao, Kancho Nenad and his partner Tania, recently returned from a 5 week mountaineering expedition in Nepal. Their aim had been to climb a 6419m (21,061ft) peak known as Chulu West. The expedition started with a long trek designed to acclimatise the group members to high altitude (and to get to base camp!). After waiting a few days for a break in the weather the climbers took advantage of a brief window of opportunity to set up two high camps on the mountain. From the higher of these a single summit attempt was made on 5 December 2001. Although technically straightforward, the climb required the use of ropes, ice axes and crampons and involved crossing crevassed ice - all at an altitude where the air is ½ as thin as at sea level at at temperatures that reached as low as -30ºC. Unfortunately, as with many high altitude climbs things did not go entirely to plan. Here Kancho Nenad takes up the story in his own words:
"What an ordeal
it was. Sadly the expedition ended in tragedy with two of
After walking to a freezing, dusty 'town' some 1400m below basecamp we found ourselves stranded, waiting for a break in the weather so a plane could arrive to pick us up. Four days later we were still waiting with increasing concern when to our relief the trekking company sent in 3 small helicopers to rescue us. We made it back to Kathmandu just in time to catch our plane home.
We wanted an adventure and I guess we got it. It sure is great to be back in the warmth of Perth though!"
Chulu West Photo Gallery - place curser over image for description (and 'click' to enlarge)