Trip Report
Random photos from a messy Tibet season. No real climbing content.

by ecdh
Friday December 14, 2018 7:51pm
From my phone. I don't carry a camera on route. Send while killing time in a chengdu Starbucks.

One for deuce.
One for deuce.
Credit: ecdh

D4 next to a BD double in case anyone wanted to know. D4 has the fly i...
D4 next to a BD double in case anyone wanted to know. D4 has the fly in there too.
Credit: ecdh

Thankfully the horse was acclimatised.
Thankfully the horse was acclimatised.
Credit: ecdh
Cos the silly primates barely were...
Cos the silly primates barely were...
Credit: ecdh

So many options, so few permits
So many options, so few permits
Credit: ecdh

New route paradise to 6200m
New route paradise to 6200m
Credit: ecdh
Guy on the left was the last to hang with Charlie Fowler and Kris Bosk...
Guy on the left was the last to hang with Charlie Fowler and Kris Boskoff, guy on the right was their driver to the mountains
Credit: ecdh

Cold and beaten awaiting pick up after 30km of carries.
Cold and beaten awaiting pick up after 30km of carries.
Credit: ecdh

Abandoned monks cell where we waited out 2 days of weather. 'Shelter' ...
Abandoned monks cell where we waited out 2 days of weather. 'Shelter' is a relative term...
Credit: ecdh

After falling ice, thin gear, frozen river crossings and boulder slope...
After falling ice, thin gear, frozen river crossings and boulder slopes, negotiating prayer flags was our major difficulty.
Credit: ecdh

Big walls in front of bigger walls. In Tibet its amazing what you walk...
Big walls in front of bigger walls. In Tibet its amazing what you walk past.
Credit: ecdh

All trips are warm and sunny at the start
All trips are warm and sunny at the start
Credit: ecdh

A good day
A good day
Credit: ecdh


  Trip Report Views: 1,345
ecdh
About the Author
ecdh is a climber from the east.

Comments
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SteveW

Trad climber
The state of confusion
  Dec 14, 2018 - 08:10pm PT
Nice. Any luck there?
Stewart Johnson

Mountain climber
lake forest
  Dec 14, 2018 - 09:32pm PT
Western?
Tashi Delek!
ecdh

climber
the east
Author's Reply  Dec 15, 2018 - 05:12pm PT
Luck as in we survived winter conditions, unsupported, remote stuff, yes.
Luck as in getting our proposed routes done, no.
But then, 'luck' has little to do with it. Its 90% planning and hard work.
ecdh

climber
the east
Author's Reply  Dec 15, 2018 - 05:15pm PT
Western Tibet? No. December out there is next, next level stuff. One of the guys was in urumqi 2 weeks ago and it was -13 down town, above 5000m + wind....maybe one day.
nah000

climber
now/here
  Dec 31, 2018 - 10:45am PT
thanks ecdh... always a bit jealous of your adventures... and so a thanks for the inspiration.
yanqui

climber
Balcarce, Argentina
  Dec 31, 2018 - 02:44pm PT
Thanks for the share. More pictures of honest-to-goodness suffering would make me less envious.
donini

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
  Dec 31, 2018 - 03:23pm PT
Nice....I love it when climbers explore remote regions, especially when they do so unsupported....think of the contrast with heavily funded NF teams sending out daily reports to their social media fans.
I often wonder why climbers who have developed amazing skills don’t test themselvesi in remote corners of our still surprising planet rather than doing endless repeats of wired routes to shave a few more seconds off of their previous time.
I have put together a “climbers camp” for this summer in the Biafo Glacier region. Climbers, who will remain anonymous for now, will share a common basecamp from which they can feast on the many unclimbed objectives in the area.
No film crew, no media marketing, just dedicated climbers doing their thing. Sounds like your cup of tea.
ecdh

climber
the east
Author's Reply  Jan 1, 2019 - 03:00am PT
Donini, good words, I feel the same.

You Biafo camp has my interest. I've been to Pakistan lots of times and it feels time to return again. This could work.

How do I contact you privately to flesh out details?
johnkelley

climber
Anchorage Alaska
  Jan 1, 2019 - 06:14pm PT
Hey thanks for the TR. Nice effort and better luck next time.

Jim - I like your idea. A few observations I’ve made while seeking out potential alpine climbing partners...

For many, most?, millennial aged and younger climbers the hype is more important than the climbing. I’ve had several potential partners bail because of my complete lack of promoting an upcoming route. I’ve had several potential partners bail because of my reluctance of applying for grants. It was never about the money. Nearly all of them have jobs that pay in the high five to low six figure income brackets. Take the Middle Peak fiasco as an example. Seems like promoting a bunch of hype around what one is “going to do” has become the new norm.

Thanks for trying to do something to change it. Good luck you’ll need it. Sorry but it feels like the tide is against you. Hopefully I’m wrong about that...

I’m writing this while waiting for the Ministry of Tourism in Kathmandu to open up. After more solo permits again. Solo mostly because of my continued reluctance to hype up what I’d like to try to do. Several potential partners bailed again this year after figuring out I wasn’t applying for grants, sponsors, of other venues of self promotion.
neebee

Social climber
calif/texas
  Jan 2, 2019 - 02:00am PT
hey there say, ecdh... thank you so much for sharing this nice post here... good trip share, :)
ecdh

climber
the east
Author's Reply  Jan 3, 2019 - 12:51pm PT
john, yes like you i find popular attitudes to alpinism leaves me cold. seems to me an attitude of junk alpinism has crept in to what was once something exploratory and multi-disciplined. now many want maximum result for minimum commitment, thinking that pulling grades in some kind of go-pro style then pulling a stupid face on the summit is all it takes. im consistently amazed at the crap people lug on these trips, both in their packs and in their heads.

im going to blame the 'media' both commercial and social for purveying such pasteurized porn that excises what a truly remote trip really entails. for a start the way the word expedition gets used these days outright shows the erosion of what was once a major endeavor. the authoring of routes is another. remote and hi alt is closer to soldiering or mining than authoring.

as a canary in the mine, in real time ive watched japanese alpinism die on the vine. a once significant contributor to the discipline is now a hollow shell with only a few (very) bright alpinists left. theres no better generation coming after, theyre all bouldering. dont think it cant happen elsewhere. the ball once dropped etc.

the antidote is, i think, to keep to the edges of whats being done; choose objectives that are overlooked and/or at the fringes of what climate and resources allow. its the first time in history many objectives can be entertained, by the few who dare. often just a slight glance sideways opens up areas and objectives that have been blindspots till now.

personally, to float my boat, i get excited being the first to the bottom of peak or wall. from there its detail.
Vitaliy M.

Mountain climber
San Francisco
  Jan 4, 2019 - 03:55pm PT
Yeah, better luck next time. Would be nice to include some logistical info about what you guys are doing and what routes trying.

The partnerships for big expeditions is a crux for many. Recently I read Steve House's book Beyond the Mountain again and after their speed ascent of the Slovak, he too had a lot of trouble finding people to try things he was interested in. I'm personally blessed with great climbing partners for California and for expeditions that have mostly rock climbing objectives but yet to visit Himalayas because of a similar issue. And of course because I would only want to go there to try things that I personally find worthy. In addiction, partnerships are about much more than having the same objective on mind. Would be nice to connect to people before a two month long trip. Would be f*#ked to find out your partner is a shithead on a long expedition.
Would be cool if we end up attempting that thing we talked about in 2020 John. That peak/objective has me psyched no matter if we get a grant, don't get a grant or try it without a permit. Lol
ecdh

climber
the east
Author's Reply  Jan 4, 2019 - 10:38pm PT
good points V.

where ive found team issues in the past is where, because we are in peripheral areas a long way from any climbing industry to hold hands with, people hit a cultural wall that then shows other cracks in their psyche. the food, the distances, the languages, the baseline reality of doing something in places not set up to do them in psyches some folk out. some people are done before they even finish the approach.

unsupported especially involves long hours under load at altitude, often double carries that get pretty dark on the soul. the fantasy of it all being about summits fades fast and when all that goes sour the real person emerges and you can see what the motivations were. like Donini eruditely pointed out above - itd be cool to see more folk who climb hard at home extend that to the edges of whats known

that said others revel in it. its amazing how fast some people can pick up the basics of a new language, an affinity with a region, really engage.

logistics and routes; logistics are as small footprint as we can make them. being china theres rules, so we do what we must, but thru good relations i get a few good deals that both save $$$ and streamline it all.
we try to acclimate to about 4000m whilst on the road, as we go in early winter its much nicer than in a tent.
most routes start at about 5000m, but up to there is varied. approached depend on remoteness, gear and topography as usual. occasionally we use horses, other wise we dont use porters. in the areas we go to theres not much choice even if we wanted to. which we dont.
weve found it is possible to take on first ascents of walls and peaks to about 6000m, unsupported, in 2-3 weeks. i think thats pretty cool and in keeping with old school alpinism dogma.
when it fails, its almost always because the basics were not applied. the exception is weather, but these days we seem to have that sorted too.

the routes? theres thousands of options, hundreds alone on unnamed and unattempted peaks. the routes here are both +/-750m walls, topping at just under 6000m, with glacier approaches on granite people cry over. trango type stuff with mixed alpine parts. prominent, obvious features that until now the parts didnt come together to make an attempt worth it. but now it is. we got spat out because the teams didnt work.

im not dissatisfied because we achieved 75% of the aim which was to know if it could be done, which means ticking a hundred boxes. next time the 25 left to tick we can focus on knowing the bulk logistics is in the bag.

thats said, theres always one last kick in the nuts...
johnkelley

climber
Anchorage Alaska
  Jan 4, 2019 - 11:52pm PT
V - don’t worry. I’m all in 100% for 2020. Having dinner with a friend tonight who’s been on the same peak a dozen times. Hope he’s ready for a hundred questions...
McGinnis

climber
  Jan 5, 2019 - 12:01pm PT
Not an alpinist myself so not much to contribute to the conversation but really enjoyed this trip report and the insightful comments that followed. Well done and well said.
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
  Jan 5, 2019 - 01:42pm PT
I don't know if I would call this the best trip report going, but along with the comments, certainly one of the most poignant.
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