Khang Karpo - 6704, culmen - China
Khang Karpo

Khang Karpo

China

6704 m

The Khang Karpo is located in the Rolwaling Valley, on the border of Nepal and Tibet and is 6704 meters high. The Khang Karpo is one of the 104 peaks that were released for climbing by the Nepalese government in 2014. Until then, only 3 climbs are known (1952, 1955, 2005). After that, one climb continued in 2016 and one in 2017. The mountain was only named ‘Khang Karpo’ in 2014. We also find the name Kang Korob. In the Himalayan Database we find him as ‘Ripimo Shar’ - the same name as the glacier that flows south from the mountain.

Details

The Khang Karpo is located in the Rolwaling Valley, on the border of Nepal and Tibet and is 6704 meters high. The valley lies west of the Khumbu, is inhabited by the Sherpa people and is strongly imbued with Tibetan culture. It is one of the ‘beyuls’, the hidden sacred valleys and refuges of Buddhism. The Khang Karpo is one of the 104 peaks that were released for climbing by the Nepalese government in 2014. Until then, only 3 climbs are known (1952, 1955, 2005). After that, one climb continued in 2016 and one in 2017. The first climbs in the 1950s took place in the context of the large British expeditions. The information for the historical overview below comes from the ‘Himalayan Database’. The mountain was only named ‘Khang Karpo’ in 2014. We also find the name Kang Korob. In the Himalayan Database we find him as ‘Ripimo Shar’ - the same name as the glacier that flows south from the mountain.

1952 In 1952 an expedition led by Eric Shipton, in which Edward Hillary also participated, failed to climb the Cho Oyu. A year later, on 29 May 1953, Hillary will be on Everest for the first time. Eric Shipton is the man who surprised the world a year earlier, in 1951, with the pictures of the footprint of the mysterious Yeti. He took these pictures not far from the Khang Karpo. After the failed attempt to climb the Cho Oyu, several members of this expedition went to a series of summits nearby. On 29 May 1952, at 11.00 a.m., Tom Bourdillon and Ray Colledge were on top of our mountain. They climbed along the north side in Tibet, coming from the Menlung La. Their goal was to climb the Pangbug Ri, which they mistakenly thought was south of the Menlung La. Ray Colledge writes in 2004: “The fact that “our” peak is now nameless does not bother me. It remains in my memory and photographs as an excellent climb, especially after the failure on Cho Oyu”… “Tom Bourdillon and I decided to have a go at Pangbuk, a name which of course was unknown to us. Left camp at 7 am, each man carrying 35 lbs including a tent. No Sherpas. Crossed plateau to Tibetan side and descended very steep ice slope to the glacier to start up north side of Pangbuk. At some stage I took a photo of the north face before descent to glacier. At 19,700 feet we found a small terrace beneath an ice cliff and there in continuous snowfall, spent the night. That was May 28. Now on May 29, we left tent at 6 am. Route was steeply up and diagonally left to avoid seracs, climbing frozen snow. Evidently it was cold as I recorded spending an hour watching Tom rubbing his feet to restore his circulation, and also I have a photo of this. Tom recovered and after some interesting climbing we summited at 11 am on May 29. The descent to our tent took only 1-1/4 hours.”

1955 “Upon reviewing map provided by Dennis P. Davis, it appears that the 1952 Shipton expedition and this expedition (The Merseyside Himalayan Expedition - 1955) on May 18 climbed an unnamed peak of 6705m south of Menlung La, not the true Pangbuk Ri which is much further north of Menlung La and Kangkuru (6320m).” Under the leadership of the British Alfred Gregory (who was also part of the Cho Oyu expedition in 1952) the ‘Merseyside Himalayan Expedition’ went to the Rolwaling in 1955, to explore the region and make a good overview of it. On 18 May 1955 Peter Boultbee and Denis Davis climbed the Khang Karpo from the north, along the Tibetan side. Earlier in the same expedition, on 18 April 1955, these two Britons were also the first to climb the Parchamo.

2005: “Ripimo Shar, Possible New Route”. The route over the western ridge was followed for the first time in 2005. The ‘Academic Alpine Club Zurich Expedition’ goes to the Rolwaling to climb the Drangnag Ri and the Chekigo. On 7 May Oliver Von Rotz (CH) and Bruce Normand (UK) climbed to the top of the ‘Ripimo Shar’ - (point 6705m on the Schneider map). “Our first breakfast on the trail was disturbed by local Maoist rebels, one carrying a concealed revolver, who asked for 3,000Rs per foreigner to enter an area they controlled; we paid 2,000Rs ($28) each in exchange for a stamped chit authorizing our presence. The rebels also made good stereotypes of their role: Nepalese society’s bottom-feeders who have found an easier living in threats than in work…”. “Normand and Von Rotz to top of point 6705m (Ripimo Shar) on Schneider map on 7th May; very cloudy this afternoon.” … “Oliver Von Rotz and I started the summit campaign on May 7, with the west ridge of Ripimo Shar , enjoying spectacular sunrise views of Menlungtse and Cho Oyu. The “climbing” was mostly deep trail-breaking. Rising cumulus beat us to the summit, but there was no afternoon snow”.

**2014: Khang Karpo opened **
On 21 May 2014, the Government of Nepal will publish a list of 104 mountains that will be open for climbing from then on. The Khang Karpo will be mentioned on it.

“First Ascent of the Khang Karpo - Women’s Team Expedition 2016”. Two British and one American woman will be part of an eight-man team led by Nima Tenji Sherpa in 2016. They themselves speak of the ‘First Official Ascent of the Khang Karpo - Women’s Team Expedition 2016’. Squash Falconer (UK), Alison Levine (US), Kath Staniland (UK), Gopal Shrestha, Lakpa Nurbu Sherpa, Phurba Tenjing Sherpa, Tsering Pemba, and Nima Tenji Sherpa (Nepal). They initially planned the ascent via the southern ridge, but had to abandon it. They followed the west ridge to the top. “Team left C1 (5700m) at 3:45 am, summited at 2 pm, stayed 1 hour, then descended to C1 arriving about 7:30 pm. We ascended the West Ridge and encountered numerous hanging glaciers. There were a great deal of crevasses throughout the route.” Report and images of their trip:
https://www.squashfalconer.com/adventures/khang-karpo-6704m https://thehimalayantimes.com/nepal/first-summit-khang-karpo-excites-climbers

2017 The south ridge was conquered the following year by two Slovenian climbers. Luka Plut and Miha Zupin go to the Rolwaling valley. “The last mountain we climbed was Khang Kharpo (a.k.a. Ripimo Shar, 6,646m) at the head of the Rolwaling (Ripimo Shar) Glacier. On the 12th we left Na, ascended the glacier, and camped at 5,200m. Next day we reached the col (ca 6,000m) between Khang Kharpo and Dragnag Ri. The following day we made the first ascent of the south-southeast ridge of Khang Kharpo (6,641m GPS) and descended to the tent. From the summit we were rewarded with tremendous views of Everest, Lhotse and Makalu. We named our route Kranjski Greben (1,300m, UIAA IV 75°). This was the fifth known ascent of the mountain.” More detailed report of this Slovenian expedition on: http://publications.americanalpineclub.org/articles/13201214663/Chugimago-North-Northwest-Face-Omi-Tso-Go-Northeast-Ridge-Khang-Kharpo-South-Southeast-Ridge