American Climbers Attempting Highest Unclimbed Peak in Nepal


Photo Courtesy of Chad Kellogg

by Kraig Becker

It has been a busy fall in the Himalaya where a number of teams have already wrapped up their expeditions to summit some of the tallest peaks on the planet. But one team is just getting settled into base camp as they prepare for the unique challenge of climbing a remote mountain called Lunag Ri. The 6895 meter (22,621 ft) mountain holds the distinction of being the highest unclimbed peak in Nepal which makes it a tempting target for ambitious climbers looking to test themselves on its very technical slopes. 

American climbers Chad Kellogg and David Gottlieb have returned to Lunag Ri for the second year in a row in an attempt to be become the first to scale the mountain. Last year the duo had high hopes of reaching the top but that expedition was shut down before it could ever really get underway. David took ill on the trek to base camp and was never able to regain his strength. As a result, he never even attempted the climb, although Chad did make a valiant attempt at a solo summit, only to be turned back by difficult and dangerous conditions. He would later salvage the expedition to some extent by putting up the first solo ascent of a nearby peak called Jobo Rinjang.

Chad and David were scheduled to arrive in Nepal in the last week of September and after spending a few days in Kathmandu sorting their gear and taking care of last minute logistics, they should have set off for Lunag Ri. As of this writing the two men have yet to release any updates on their progress, but presumably they are now in base camp and getting settled in before they begin their first attempts on the mountain. Once they do get settled into BC, their dispatches will be available online by clicking here.

Over the next few weeks, Chad and David will spend some time getting acclimatized to the altitude while they scout the peak for the best possible approach. If all goes according to plan, they will likely be looking to make a summit attempt in the first week of November, weather permitting. It has been a relatively calm fall in the Himalaya this year with weather conditions remaining relatively stable. Hopefully those conditions will hold out for a few more weeks, giving the team a chance to bag this impressive mountain.