CLIMBERS ON KANGTEGA, 1986
Alison Hargreaves and Jeff Lowe move above the high camp onto the
Kangtega Plateau on our summit day, 1 May 1986.
The neighborhood bad boys, Everest, behind the Lhotse-Nuptse
ridge, and Ama Dablam watch silently, unmoved, through morning light.
Jeff Lowe describes our ascent:
“Hargreaves, Twight, Frost and I moved on to Kangtega (6779
meters, 22,241 feet). In a
ten-day round trip from Base Camp, we climbed a difficult new route on
the right side of the northwest ridge, encountering very technical ice
and mixed climbing on the ice tongue right of the ridge proper.
On May 1, Frost and I reached the slightly lower northwest peak,
while Hargreaves and Twight continued on to the main peak via a steep
final ice face. We descended
the northeast couloir, first climbed by the Japanese in 1979.”
technical difficulties of this climb were well beyond my experience
level. But the mix of nine
consecutive bivouacs at altitude, Jeff Lowe’s comprehensive leadership
abilities, and a mountain of energetic character made this an adventure
I continue to treasure.