British Jugal Expedition 2022
The idea for this expedition was born when Ramsden, who was browsing satellite imagery during a Covid-19 lockdown, spotted an impressive North face in the Jugal Himal. Further research revealed that, despite being one of the closest 6,000m peaks to Kathmandu, the mountain (Pk6563) remained unattempted. He and Miller travelled to Nepal in April 2022 and, after setting up basecamp next to the Lingshing Glacier, they combined acclimatisation on the West ridge of Dorje Lhakpa, with reconnaissance of their intended face. A break in the weather afforded them a view of a potential route, a thin ice line that seemed to extend almost the full length of the face but with short, blank sections that cast doubt on its climbability. Nevertheless, the pair set out to investigate. Climbing alpine style over five days, they succeeded in making the first ascent of the mountain by their intended route, discovering that the blank sections they had observed could be surmounted by three pitches of awkward chimney climbing. They named their route ‘The Phantom Line’ and offered a grade of ED+. Following the ascent, they dubbed the mountain ‘Jugal Spire, but subsequently learned that it has also been referred to as ‘Dorje Lhakpa II’.