Member Trip Report (and Photos) of New Route on Lama Lamani, India
AAC Member Paul Swienton reports in on his May expedition on Lama Lamani. We’d love to share your latest climb too, so send it this way.
During the month of May 2010, Dick Isherwood of Seattle, Geoff Cohen, Steve Kennedy, Robert Hamilton and Dave Ritchie all from Scotland and myself traveled to the Himalayan Range in Sikkim, India to climb and try to establish new routes on Lama Lamani (18,500 ft.) and Mt. Jopuno(19,500 ft.). The expedition received funding from the Mount Everest Foundation. As this area of the Himalaya has been largely untouched by climbers and with only a few mountains on the permitted list available for climbing, our expedition chose to climb Lama Lamani and Mt. Jopuno because of their access to one another from our advanced base camp.
We decided to climb the West Face of Lama Lamani, which is very aesthetic, as the face is a combination of rock, snow and ice. Former AAC member Geoff Cohen and I paired up as one team and Scots Steve Kennedy and Bob Hamilton grouped to be the other team. Both groups climbed the South West Spur, which was a mixture of rock, snow and ice and ended in a notch. From the notch both groups turned left and climbed mixed rock and snow. At a junction in the rock, Geoff and I decided to climb onto a snow chute that traversed to the left, then up to the large and beautiful summit ridge. Steve and Bob continued on up the mixed route to a point where the ridge they were climbing on met with our chute. From there we made the summit of Lama Lamani via the summit ridge with clear but breezy conditions.
After about 45 minutes on the summit we rappelled and down climbed the West Face to the base of the mountain where we made our way to back advanced base camp. The climb was given a British rating of PD or AD-.
Lama Lamani has only been climbed once before by a British expedition in 2005 headed by Roger Payne. This expedition climbed the center face to the left of our route.
After an attempt on Mt. Jopuno, another summit on an unnamed peak, we descended to base camp where we celebrated with single malt scotch and hit “super strong” beer. A cap to a perfect trip!
Want to hear more about the trip? Email Paul here.