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American Alpine Journal

Above the Lirung Glacier. Behind is the lower right side of the east face of Langtang Lirung. Dusserre and Girard hoped to land above the icefall visible in the center. [Photo] Dusserre/Girard Collection

Innovative Approach: Using paragliders to attempt high peaks in Nepal’s Langtang Himal

In this guest feature from the American Alpine Journal, Antoine Girard documents an experiment that utilized paragliders to approach peaks in Nepal’s Langtang Himal that tend to be inaccessible because of difficult approaches or objective hazards. Girard and his partner, Julien Dusserre, landed at 6200 meters on Shalbachum (6707m), where they planned to climb alpine-style to the summit, but storms forced them to retreat. Weather patterns also prevented them from landing on their main objective–Langtang Lirung (7227m)–but they gained enough experience to prove to themselves that approaching peaks with paragliders could work.

The Arjuna Group seen from the southwest. (1) Polish route (Barszczewski-Dasal-Skierski, 1983) up the central pillar of the west face. (2) All or Nothing (Cesen-Novak-Prezelj, 2017). Both the 1983 and 2017 routes lead to the main summit. (3) The west face of the south summit (Bender-Piasecki, 1983). This summit was first climbed by Poles in 1981 (Bartos-Otreba-Puzyrewski) up the broad couloir to the right of the west face and then the southeast ridge (approximately the right skyline) to the summit. [Photo] Marko Prezelj

Slovenians establish two new routes in the Kishtwar Himalaya

In this guest feature from the American Alpine Journal, Urban Novak reports on two new routes that he established with Marko Prezelj and Ales Cesen this past June. They acclimatized with a Grade ‘D’ route on Peak 6013, and then got lucky with a weather window that allowed them to complete their main objective, the west face of Arjuna (ca. 6250m). They named their route All or Nothing (ED+ M7+ WI5+ A0).

Khumjungar Himal (a.k.a. Khamjung, 6759m), one of the highest peaks of the Damodar, seen to the north from the approach up the Labse Khola towards the Teri La. This south-facing aspect of the mountain has not been attempted. [Photo] Paulo Grobel

Unclimbed Nepal: The Explorations of Paulo Grobel

In this guest feature from the American Alpine Journal, French guide Paulo Grobel reports on his explorations of Nepal’s Damodar Himal, north of the Annapurna group, and the first ascent of a subpeak of Himlung Himal, a popular 7,000er north of Manaslu. This story provides a sneak-peak from the 2018 AAJ.