Two Romanians ascend Mt Peak 5 for first timeRomanian climbers Vlad Capusan and Zsolt Torok have become the first persons to step foot on the summit of Mt Peak 5 in the Mahalangur Himalaya. The 6,421-metre mountain is located southeast of Makalu base camp on the border between Nepal and China.
Romanian climbers Vlad Capusan and Zsolt Torok have become the first persons to step foot on the summit of Mt Peak 5 in the Mahalangur Himalaya. The 6,421-metre mountain is located southeast of Makalu base camp on the border between Nepal and China.
The pair spent five days climbing to the top by using the mountain’s southeast ridge in alpine style. They overcame several risky ordeals to reach the top of the virgin peak on October 31 at 14:10.
“It was extremely adventurous to climb the technical rocky mountain that has no pre-laid route,” said 43-year-old Torok. “Attempts to scale this beautiful mountain had been abandoned seven times before.”
The alpinists had acclimatized on a peak in the Khumbu region before making their summit bid. “Initially, it was difficult for us to find the base camp as the route map we were provided was faulty.” Next, there was bad weather, he said.
“However, after we were able to locate the base camp, we launched our mission,” said Torok, who has visited Nepal six times in the last one decade. “Climbing a virgin peak is like an art of survival,” he said. “We experienced sustained winds of 95 miles per hour (150 km per hour), rain and snow.”
His companion Capusan said, “This climb was not going to be easy. Obviously, we had a short window of good weather. We had no form of contact, no rescue personnel. We were on our own.” On the first day, the duo spent their night at Camp I developed by them near the peak.
The weather was fine the second day. “We reached the top on October 31 at 14:10 am,” he said. The temperature was around 35 degrees below zero. So, we were not able to spend more than five minutes at the summit,” Capusan said.
Bodh Raj Bhandari, managing director of Snowy Horizon Treks and Expedition which handled the Romanian expedition, said that there were many unclimbed peaks in Nepal to attract potential climbers. “Peak 5 in the Makalu range can be promoted by developing packages. It can help promote such remote areas.”
In 2014, the government had opened 104 new peaks to commercial expeditions.
The number of peaks
open for commercial climbing, including eight thousanders, has now reached 414. Among the newly opened peaks, nine are higher than 7,000 metres, 90 are above 6,000 metres and four are above 5,000 metres.
There are 3,310 walking
and climbing peaks above 5,500 metres in height in Nepal, according to a
study on mountaineering conducted by the government
and the Nepal Mountaineering Association. Among them, 1,913 are climbing peaks requiring the use of mountaineering gear.
Nepal has 1,300 peaks higher than 6,000 metres; and among them, 16 are above 8,000 metres and 122 are higher than 7,000 metres. The government estimates that there are more than 1,600 virgin summits in the Nepal Himalaya.