Thursday, September 24, 2015

All-Female Team Summit Unclimbed Peak in Zanskar Region of India

Alpinist has a great story up about a team of three female climbers who traveled to the remote Zanskar region of India this summer to attempt an unclimbed peak. The women discovered a place that is beautiful, very wild, and mostly unexplored. They also found success along the way.

The team consisted of Rachel Spitzer, Lisa Van Sciver, and Anna Pfaff, who originally set out with a specific peak in mind but quickly had to shift objectives when they discovered that they were in the wrong valley, and the peak they had come looking for was nowhere in sight. But, they found plenty of other challenges all around them, and set off to take on a mountain called Tare Parvat instead.

You can read all of the details on their ascent at Alpinist, but suffice as to say it was a grand adventure. The trio of climbers had to overcome a 600 meter (1968 ft) rock wall to reach the top, a route they completed in alpine style and without the use of bolts. When they did top out, they named the new route Unattached and celebrated their success in suitable fashion on September 5.

The story isn't remarkable because it was an expedition of three female climbers. There are plenty of great women exploring the mountains all over the planet. It is remarkable because there are so many places like this remote valley in Zanskar that have yet to be explored, with lots of unclimbed peaks to overcome. Sure, the Himalaya gets most of the attention, and everyone wants to bag one of the 8000 meter mountains. But there is still plenty of challenge and joy to be had in these places where hardly anyone goes, and true exploration is still part of the process.

Congratulations to Rachel, Lisa, and Anna on a fantastic and successful expedition.

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