Dispatches from the Rolwaling: The Waiting Game

Since our first send on Pachermo, Alan and I have been scoping 6938m Tengi Ragi Tau's West Face. We have done a couple of recon climbs around the base and found overall favorable climbing conditions.  The problem has been the wind.  As happens in the Nepali Himalaya this time of year, the jetstream begins to descend on the mountains and the winds rip.  The clock starts ticking and eventually the winds are here to stay.

Scouting conditions on a calmer day (photo via satellite phone)

Thus far, a weather window has not appeared.  Our best weather forecast from a wind speed perspective materialized one morning as gale force winds of 60-70 mph that came screaming across the mountains.  On Tengi Ragi Tau, in particular, the winds continually slammed directly into the West Face and snow blown into the air would collect as a spindrift avalanche before washing down the face and directly over our anticipated route.

The base of the wind-hammered West Face (photo via satellite phone)

While it may be difficult to see in the picture above sent via Iridium satellite phone, as we hunkered down in temperatures below zero waiting for the winds to subside, a near constant waterfall of snow rushed down the face and the heavy spindrift kept coming all day.  We're hoping for at least one more weather window before the jet stream descends for the season.

But, for now, we wait...