British Far West Nepal
The mountains of West Nepal are far less frequented than the rest of the country, but during visits in 2007 and 2009, Freeman-Attwood made a number of first ascents which alerted him to the tremendous scope of the area for true exploration. On this third visit, to an unexplored valley in the Changla Himal (even further west), he hoped to make the first ascent of Gave Ding (6571m). There appeared to be two possible routes to the summit, either the West Ridge to a fine rock spire, or the South Ridge to the East Peak. They attempted the second of these, reaching 5900m before realising that the summit ridge was much longer than had previously been thought giving them no chance of reaching the summit before nightfall – particularly as the weather was increasingly threatening – so an abseil retreat was undertaken. There followed a period of extensive snowfall, so the team had no chance of making another attempt.
The leader reports that as part of a Nepalese government drive to encourage more visitors, the area remains free of peak and trekking fees for the 2012 and 2013 climbing seasons.