Mick Fowler high up on Gave Ding

Mick Fowler high up on Gave Ding

A British climber has spoken of his delight at summiting a remote Himalayan peak in a valley never before visited by westerners.

Mick Fowler and his team faced a longer than expected trek from base camp after their mules were unable to cope with difficult terrain on the anticipated route to Gave Ding.

Fowler, who takes his annual leave from HM Revenue and Customs to explore new Himalayan peaks, and his climbing partner Paul Ramsden reached the summit of Gave Ding, a 6,571m (21,558ft) peak in far west Nepal, on Thursday 22 October.

They climbed the mountain by a route graded ED Sup, on the north face in a six-day push, and then descended to base camp over two days, via the west ridge and north flank.

Mick Fowler (left) and Paul Ramsden during their Gave Ding expedition

Mick Fowler (left) and Paul Ramsden during their Gave Ding expedition

Along with their support team of Steve Burns and Ian Cartwright, Fowler and Ramsden were the first westerners to ever set foot in the valley where the mountain is located. The expedition was supported by outdoors brand Berghaus.

To reach the valley, the team drove for 14 hours from Kathmandu, flew to a mountain airstrip and then trekked for four days to a base camp at 4,500m. They had intended to have a higher base camp but their mules were unable to manage the difficult terrain beyond 4,500m.

Mick Fowler said: “The Gave Ding trip was absolutely brilliant – it couldn’t have been better really. The approach and ethnic action were great. We were the first westerners to see the face, and it was as inspiring as we could have hoped.

Mick Fowler on the third day of his Gave Ding climb. Photo: Berghaus

Mick Fowler on the third day of his Gave Ding climb. Photo: Berghaus

“The mountain was unclimbed and the route gave safe, hard climbing on an eye-catching line that led straight to summit, followed by an aesthetically pleasing different descent route. And the whole thing was a real adventure in that we were operating on gut instinct more than any detailed information.

“Retrospective pleasure is enveloping us nicely.”

Climbing in temperatures as low as -30C, Fowler and Ramsden tested prototypes of products that will be part of the new Berghaus Extrem range for autumn and winter 2016.

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