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.”  (AAJ 1987)

The 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.

CLIMBERS ON KANGTEGA, the ascent of the northwest ridge of Kangtega, Solu Khumbu, Nepal, by Jeff Lowe, Alison Hargreaves, Marc Twight, and Tom Frost, pre-monsoon, 1986.