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Gimmigela East – Northface: Hansjörg Auer and Alex Blümel made the First Ascent


La Sportiva ambassador Hansjörg Auer tell us more about his adventure in Nepal, when together with his partner Alex Blümel conquered the first ascent of the previously untached Gimmigela East – Northface.

Located on the border between Nepal and India Gimmigela East (7005m), it is the subpeak of Gimmigela Chuli (7350m), and also referred to as ‘Gimmigela’s Sister’. It´s steep Northface had never been tried before by any expedition and was a well hidden project in the remote Kangchenjunga area. Situated approximately four kilometers from the World’s third highest peak Kangchenjunga (8585m), it´s summit was only reached twice by Japanese after trips in 1993 and 1994 from India, Southside of the mountain.

After a five-day gruelling hike through the jungle alongside the Tamar River and across the higher plateaus of the Ghunsa Valley, we basecamped a little higher than the classic Pangpema basecamp; one of Nepal’s most treasured sites.

Alex Blümel and I started to acclimate on the Dhromo south ridge and, after a total of three nights at 5900m, on November 8, we felt ready for Gimmigela East’s north face. Due to a wet Monsun with high precipitation we found the 1200m high face in perfect conditions. After two bivies, of which the second one on the final summit ridge seriously challenged us due to the small ledge been extremely exposed to the strong winds, we reached the summit at 7.30am on 10th November. A cold, windy but clear morning allowed us to see far into Sikkim’s great mountain range and to the unexplored east face of Kangchenjunga.

„Yet again, it was one of those expeditions where everything came together. A great project, an even greater friendship and a very efficient first ascent of a ’King Line’ on a 7000m peak in one of the most remote places in the Himalayas.“

Thank you Alex for the great time on and off the wall, and Elias and Matteo for making the time spent in the basecamp during this expedition even sweeter.

Fact Box:

Mountain Range: Kangchenjunga Area/Himalaya/Nepal
Mountain: Gimmigela East (7005m)
Altitude of Basecamp: 5200m
Difficulties: 85° ice
First Ascent of the face: 8th – 10th of November 2016 in alpine style

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