The West Face Of Tengi Ragi Tau

Alan Rousseau and Tino Villanueva are currently in Nepal with their eyes fixed on summiting Tengi Ragi Tau via the West face. This effort is supported by Beal.

Drolamboa Glacier. Peak 6425 sits in the background and is unclimbed; a potential objective for our trip. We will be where the photo was taken for 25 days.  Photo: Tino VTino Villanueva.

A little over three years ago, and half way through a twelve pack; we first started talking about exploratory missions into the Himalaya seeking first ascents.  Our first attempt to launch a trip was thwarted when we started planning too late in the Summer of 2011. However, this initial research turned up one zone, and one peak in particular that sparked our interest for 2012. The area was the Rolwaling Valley, there was ice climbing at 14,000’, and large peaks at the head of the valley including Tengi Ragi Tau (22,795’).

Thanks to the American Alpine Club’s Fellowship Grant, we explored new ice climbs in the Rolwaling Valley and attempted the North Ridge of Tengi Ragi Tau via an unclimbed peak Langmoche Ri (21,689’).  Although we fell short of summiting Tengi Ragi Tau (T.R.T.), we considered the trip a success with the completion of eight new routes up to WI5+ M6 including the first peak ascent of Langmoche Ri by its NW ridge (2,500’ 80 dg X).

Photo from an FA on our 2012 trip to the Rolwaling Valley. Photo: Alan Rousseau

Beding, a village in the upper Rolwaling Valley.  Photo: Alan Rousseau
As we headed back down to our base camp in the Village of Na in November of 2012, we spotted a line up the West face of T.R.T.  It was one that instantly inspired us, and has been a motivator since. We believe a possible passage exists up the complex face via snow ribbons, dihedrals, and ice choked chimney systems. For 2014, we have been awarded grant funding through the American Alpine Club’s Lyman Spitzer Grant for this West face objective. Next week we will once again approach thru the Rolwaling Valley to its culmination on the Drolamboa Glacier to attempt T.R.T.

After preparing things in Katmandu, we’ll start our trek for the Rolwaling Valley. The past few weeks provided us with some time off from our mountain guiding professions to relax and be with our families. We both recently returned from working international expeditions above 6,000 meters just a few weeks ago.  Although the downtime in between adventures is never long enough, it’s time to sharpen picks, front points, and our minds before tying into the sharp end and attempting to climb the mile long line we drew on a photo.

West Face of Tengi Ragi Tau, our primary objective for this trip.  Photo: Tino Villanueva.
To be continued…

Written by Alan Rousseau

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