Two years ago we announced a rare, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to make a first ascent of an unclimbed peak - the 22,775-foot Burke Khang on the border of Nepal and China. Many of you enthusiastically followed along as our team pioneered a route and we had the privilege to become the first humans ever to set foot on this majestic, untouched mountain. We now find ourselves with the good fortune to announce a "second" once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. ...but first the rest of the story on Burke Khang:
As a refresher here's a link to our blog posts from 2015 with the blow by blow account and photos from our turnaround point roughly 500 vertical feet from the treacherous summit. Since that time our good friend Bill Burke has returned to Nepal three more times in attempt to settle the score and reach the top of his namesake mountain. If you follow Bill's blog Eight Summits you know that his 2016 and Spring 2017 attempts failed to reach the top, but just last week success was finally achieved! Although Bill did not stand on the top himself (his high point was with me two years ago on the "Fejtek Face") Bill's teammate and professional mountain guide Noel Hanna claimed the first ascent honors along with Naga Dorje Sherpa, Pemba Tshering Sherpa and Sonam Bhote. Congratulations to all!
And now for our news. Although we could not join Bill on any of his subsequent attempts on Burke Khang due primarily to my mountain biking and skiing injuries from last year and cancer treatment for Denise's mom, we are now successfully through both of those ordeals! So we are heading back to the Himalayas next Wednesday night!
Last year we began studying 3D images on Google Earth and with the help of our guides from two years ago Garrett Madison and Sid Pattison, we have identified another unclimbed peak to attempt.
Unfortunately we cannot reveal the name or location of the mountain at this time. As a complete surprise to Bill, just as he was about to begin his expedition last month, Bill learned that several well known climbers from around the world were planning to attempt Burke Khang. Fortunately Bill and his team beat them to it but the others were poised and planning to take a shot if Bill and his team were unsuccessful in this fourth try. Since the Burke Khang summit has now been claimed, we strongly suspect these teams are on the hunt for another first ascent. Therefore we need to keep our plans quiet until we get closer to the mountain.
Please stay tuned for the next blog posts with more details about our adventure and eventually the name, location and photos of this stunning and formidable mountain as the journey gets underway starting next week. If you aren't already subscribed to our blog, you can get email updates whenever (and only when) a new post is made. Simply enter your email address in the box at the upper right of the Summit for CAF blog page, then confirm through the automated email you will receive immediately after subscribing. Check your spam folder if you don't see it.
Thanks and Climb On!
Paul & Denise