But we hadn’t reckoned with the fickle Rupshu weather. September is meant to be a good, stable month, weather wise, but this was not so in 2012. Every day we had sun, every day we had rain. Most days we saw hail, and many nights snow fell.
In the event we only climbed one peak, the 6,390m Spangnak Ri. Steep scree slopes covered in fresh snow made for slow, tiring, going, and at the top the cloud was so thick that we were having to prod the ground with our ice axes to check it was indeed snow and not just thin air. Summit photos are unspectacular.
Five days later we set off to climb 6,500m Chalung to the north of Tso Moriri, but suffering from colds we turned back, still on our way to a high camp, when the hail and snow rolled in. We felt like wimps, but (Neil) just didn’t fancy a trudge up in powder snow when the prospects of a nice view from the summit weren’t that high.
|Pike on the summit of Spangnak Ri. Well, we’re 90% sure it was the summit (it was where Google Earth said the highest point was) though the poor visibility meant we couldn’t see very far along the ridge to see if there was a higher rocky outcrop.|
|Descending in the fresh snow.|
|Powder snow on steep scree made for a few slips and spills. Here’s Haz modelling her home made anti-balling plates. Sadly one of her left ones fell off on the climb.|