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Carlos Buhler returns to Kalanka North Face
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Apr 30, 2004 09: 27 EST
Carlos and Sandy want a nice secluded climb, but don’t want to leave the Himalayas. Sure, they could trounce some of the real big walls like Jannu for example, but they’re looking for something a little less crowded (read; not a soul for miles) and would like to break new ground, cut a new route, maybe even build a summer home. So where do they go? The Kalnanka North Face

Carlos Buhler and Sandy Allan are joint leaders of this three man expedition to Kalanka (6931m) in the Garhwal Himalaya, India. There, along with John Lyall, they will make an attempt on an unclimbed line on the north face of the mountain.

The route is not new to Carlos Buhler, however, who tried this same line back in 2001, climbing then with Jack Roberts. According to Carlos, it is a very technical route, and they expect to take about 45 days to reach the summit. Kalanka is a neighbouring peak to Changabang. The North faces of both mountains rise over Bagini glacier, in the Garhwals.

As Sandy reports in his guiding company's website, "The team all met up in New Delhi on 19th April 2004 where they secured climbing permits and prepared their loads of equipment, food and supplies for the long approach march ahead.” The team departed the village of Josimath (Uttar Anchel State) on the morning of 27th April and plan to establish BC (4600m approx) by 1st or 2nd June. Yes, that’s right, more than a month long trek just to get to BC. This is truly a remote climb.

“Thereafter the team will establish ABC (5100m) nearer the north face of Kalanka. From there on the climbers will set Camp I at the foot of the steep north face and then start the technical wall climbing from there.”

Carlos Buhler (USA) has a huge climbing resume, plenty of new technical routes and exposed climbs to high mountains all around the world. Just to name a few, he has taken part in the first climbs to Baruntse East Ridge (80), Everest Kangchung face (83), Northeast Face of Ama Dablam (85), north face of Changabang (98), Siula grande West Face (89). As for classical high-mountain routes, some examples are: West Pillar of Makalu (84), North ridge of Kangchenjunga (88), west ridge of Cho Oyu in alpine style (89), Northeast ridge of Dhaulagiri (90) West ridge of Dorje Lakpa solo (92), K2 North Face (96) and Nanga Parbat, Diamir Face (97).

Sandy, from Scotland, has also first ascents of peaks and technical climbs around the world. As well as guiding Mount Everest, and other 8000 meter peaks, Sandy has many new technical climbs in Scotland and in the eighties was responsible for some of the hardest technical mixed winter climbs in Scotland. He has led and been a lead climber on many Himalayan expeditions, including Mustagh Tower, the unclimbed ridge of Everest, The Scottish Direct Route on the South face of Pumori, Mazeno Ridge of Nanga Parbat, South Face Lhotse and many others.

Image of Carlos summiting peak Caucaz, in a russian expedition part of the Open Caucasus proyect, courtesy of risk.ru

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