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ROGER CARARACH | First alpine-style ascent and first repeat of the southern pillar of the eastern summit of the Tengi Ragi Tau

The Catalan climber and Kayland ambassador Roger Cararach, is a UIAGM Climbing and High Mountain Guide, whose passions are rock climbing and ski mountaineering, and he spends most of his time in the Alps and Pyrenees.

Last October 2019 he reached an important milestone: the first alpine-style repetition and ascent of the southern pillar of the eastern tip of the Nepalese mountain Tengi Ragi Tau, 6660 m, 1100 m 6b/M6/85º.

Here is the story of the feat, full of surprising twists and setbacks, as told by Roger himself:

“On the first of October we finally arrived in Lukla after being trapped in Kathmandu international airport for almost a week due to bad weather, which meant we flew in 5 days late. Once in Lukla, with the help of porters, we spent the next three days hiking in to Thengpo at 4350 m, where we stayed in a lodge for the next week.

The following day we wasted no time and hiked up to the Tashi Laptsa pass at 5700 m to acclimatise. We took advantage of this ascent to leave a cache of equipment for subsequent ascents. On the way back to the lodge we met another team from the USA who were there to climb the same route as us, with the difference that they had already attempted the wall on two previous occasions. So we shelved our initial intention of climbing the west face of Tengi Ragi Tau and started thinking about other objectives.

We hiked the same pass again to get more acclimatised before attempting any climb, but when we reached our cache we discovered that part of our gear had been stolen. We were forced to pursue the culprits, and ended up hiking all the way back down to Monjo, some 30 km below us, where we managed to track down the thief and were able to get our gear back.

Finally, after all these setbacks, we managed to complete our acclimatization and agree on a goal. This new goal seemed more attractive and more complete to us than our initial plan, which had been more of a snow ascent, while this new objective was more oriented towards climbing on rock.

On 14 October we started climbing the pillar at 5500 m and the difficulties on the rock began pretty much straight away. We gained height gradually, with pitch after pitch on very good rock leading to our first bivouac site at 6600 m.

The second day turned out to have the hardest climbing on the route, and this, coupled with two long traverses we had to make, meant that we gained very little height. Finally we were able to set up our second bivouac at 6250 m.

On the third day we made it up the large rocky pillar that dominates the upper part of the pillar. The good rock quality on this side surprised us. We then started up a snow ridge that led to the summit. The snow conditions on this ridge were difficult and we were forced to set up a third bivouac at 6550 m. This section turned out to take much longer than we expected due to the bad snow conditions, and we had climb unprotectable sections of almost vertical, powdery snow.

Finally on the fourth day, after two final pitches we reached the top and on the same day rappelled back down the route to the foot of the face.
Once back at the Thame lodge, we connected to wi-fi and found out that the route had already been climbed in 2005 by a French team. Despite this, it was a great climb on very varied terrain, and we’re happy with it. And even though it’s not a first ascent, it’s still a first ascent in alpine style and a first repeat".

Follow the adventures of Roger Cararach:

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/rogercararachsoler/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/roger.cararachsoler

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