Location: Nyainqentangla East range, Tibet.

Date: September/October 2003.

Team: Adam Thomas, Bryan Godfrey, Phil Amos, Graham Rowbotham.

Objective: Exploratory climbing in a little known region and make first ascents of unclimbed peaks.

Achievements: Reached a high point of 6180m on the previously unexplored Chukporisum Peak (6359m).

Sponsors: W. L. Gore & Associates (Shipton/Tilman Award), British Mountaineering Council, Mount Everest Foundation, Alpine Club of Canada, Canadian Himalayan Foundation, Helly Hansen, Ottakar's Bookshop, Gulf Air, Terra Nova Equipment.

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Visit Ottakar's


Panorama of the Chukporisum area.
Jeep Incident

Jeep incident on the way to the road head.
Local family, Upper Niwu

Local family, Upper Niwu.
Unknown peak (c6500m)

Unknown peak (c6500m), with Nenang behind.
Chukporisum (6359m)

Chukporisum (6359m) - the unclimbed peak attempted by the expedition.
Chukporisum Camp 1 (5140m)

Chukporisum Camp 1 (5140m).
Snow cave at high camp (6040m)

Snow cave at high camp (6040m).
Gorge Cliffs near Niwu

Cliffs in a gorge on the approach to Niwu.
Chumi Tashi Lama

Chumi Tashi Lama.
Chachaco Peak (6575m)

Chachaco Peak (6575m).
Unknown peak (c6200m)

Unknown peak (c6200m).
Summit storm

Bad conditions on the summit attempt.

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Chukporisum route

Chukporisum with our route, camps and high point.

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In September 2003 a team of four members travelled to the little explored Nyainqentangla East range in Tibet. Situated 400 kilometers north east of Lhasa this range has seen little exploration or climbing to date and therefore promised a wealth of exploratory mountaineering. The team had permits to climb Nenang (6870m), Chachaco (6575m) and Jomo Taktse (6582m).

The team consisted of Adam Thomas, Phil Amos and Bryan Godfrey, all from Edinburgh, UK and Graham Rowbotham from Vancouver, Canada. Thomas, Amos and Godfrey arrived in Kathmandu, Nepal on 14 September with Rowbotham arriving the next day. This left just enough time to finalize visas before all four flew to Lhasa on 16 September.

The team met up with the agent in Lhasa and did some last minute organization before leaving in three Land Cruisers on 19 September. They experienced some very poor road conditions and were eventually stopped by landslides 40 kilometers short of Niwu, where they had planned to walk for three days to a base camp in the upper Niwu valley. They waited for four days for enough horses to carry their equipment and then walked for six days to get to base camp which was established at 4300m.

The team spent four days exploring around base camp before realizing that due to problems of access and the available maps being inaccurate, none of the proposed peaks were feasible. They eventually decided to attempt a previously unknown mountain called Chukporisum (6359m).

On 6 October all four members of the team walked to an advanced base camp and spent the next 8 days on the attempt. Two days were spent ferrying loads and then the mountain was attempted in pure Alpine style from 5140m. A summit attempt from a high camp at 6040m ended at 6180m in extreme conditions of cold and wind.

Unfortunately, because of the time lost due to the landslides on the road while getting to the mountain, no time was left for any further attempts. The team then sent their guide and cook out to Niwu and the road head with the gear and proceeded to make a complete circumnavigation of the northern part of the range. This involved the first western crossing of a pass at 5300m and another pass at 5100m in five days. The team was back in Lhasa on 26 October before travelling back to Kathmandu overland in three days. The expedition ended on 1 November.

If you are interested in visiting this region and would like to read the full expedition report, it is available for download here (29kb zip file).

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