Unclimbed Himalayan Peak Sees First Ascent

This article originally appeared on Climbing

On October 28, Ecuadorian Oswaldo "Ossy" Freire, 50, and American Joshua Jarrin, 37, reached the summit of Yansa Tsenji (6,567m/21545ft) via an alpine route on the east face.

Their ascent marks the first overall summit of the mountain, which lies along Nepal's border with Tibet, in the northern Langtang Himal subrange and Langtang National Park. Yansa Tsenji is a subpeak of Shalbachum (6,918m/22,697ft), which sits less than two miles to the northeast, directly along the international border.

Also known as Dragpoche or Dhagpache, Yansa Tsenji has seen only two documented attempts since it opened to climbers in 2003. The first was a British party that retreated from the east ridge in 2003 at around 6,100 meters (tk ft) due to technical difficulty. In 2010, a Japanese team attempting a line on the south face of the southwest ridge turned back under heavy rockfall. Freire and Jarrin's ascent marks the first reported attempt on Yansa Tsenji in 13 years.

The pair of IFMGA guides took 19 hours to ascend their new line, christened Between Fairies and Unicorns (ED M4+ WI5+ 90deg), starting out from a 5,100-meter base camp at 11:00 pm on October 27. They reported battling powder avalanches and rockfall throughout the entirety of the climb, which remained technical and exposed throughout. They reached the summit at 7:00 pm the following day.

"We enjoyed absolutely every minute of the whole climb," Freire told Explorers Web. "Despite the avalanches and rockfall, we didn't feel any fear during the climb." He added that the route was "the most difficult climb of my mountaineering career and the most exposed and committed ascent I have ever made."

The duo went after their attempt in an uber-light style with little room for error, carrying a mere three liters of water between them along with a few energy bars. Following the summit, they took 10 hours to descend to their base camp. After resting for a few days, Freire and Jarrin have reportedly already begun moving towards another objective, a hopeful first ascent of the north face of nearby Ganchenpo (6,378m/20,925ft).

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