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Sherpa Guides Embrace Alpine Adventures During Winter Season

by thesummiters.com
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When most Sherpa guides take a pause from the rigors of guiding to relish moments with family and embrace the slower pace of winter, a younger generation is seizing the cold season to chase their climbing dreams. Two such individuals, Prakash Gurung and Yukta G, are currently in the midst of a groundbreaking pursuit—the first ascent of the 6,759m Khumjungar Himal.

Their endeavor, dubbed “Project Together 2023-24,” commenced in November, aiming for an alpine-style climb while prioritizing an eco-conscious approach, highlighting the imperative need to preserve the pristine and untouched beauty of the mountains. Khumjungar Himal, nestled in the upper Mustang region, was a deliberate choice, situated far from the bustling tracks of mainstream peaks and trekking routes.

Setting their journey in motion, the climbers flew to Jomson before making their way to the quaint village of Tange, nestled at 3,359m, last Saturday. Progressing further, they established a yak camp 1,000m higher just yesterday, intending to reach their Base Camp location by today.

The aspiration driving these Nepalese climbers is to achieve the inaugural ascent of Khumjungar Himal. Interestingly, an American climber, Luke Smithwick, led a team that scaled the peak via the south face just this past fall. When approached for comment, Smithwick revealed, “We ascended the south face, reaching the summit ridge but not the summit itself. Our return to base camp followed on the same day.”

Smithwick also noted, “It seems the Nepalese expedition is tackling the north side of the peak. We were drawn to the south face for its challenges.”

Prakash Gurung, left, and Yukta G, center, with their climbing permit for Khumjungar Himal. Photo: Project Together/Instagram

Prakash Gurung, a seasoned IFMGA guide and mountaineering instructor, brings a wealth of experience to the endeavor. He’s led attempts on the South Face of Lhotse and navigated the circuits of 8,000m peaks for various outfitters. His dedication extends to training fellow Nepalese climbers, embodying a mentorship role within the community.

Prakash Gurung on the summit of Everest. Photo: Prakash Gurung/Facebook
Prakash Gurung on the summit of Everest. Photo: Prakash Gurung/Facebook

Yukta G, an aspiring guide associated with Elite Expeditions, has already conquered several summits, including some alongside Anna Gutu, who tragically perished in an avalanche on Shishapangma.

The duo’s ambitious venture up Khumjungar Himal in winter conditions showcases their prowess in alpine-style climbing and their dedication to pushing boundaries while respecting the sanctity of these majestic peaks.

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NAEWTRER750331NEHTYHYHTR 30 December 2023 - 19:54



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