|Home | Gauri Shankar and Menlungtse Main | Contact|
Updated: October 2011. Click on an image to see the FULL size with a caption
The following reference information is included:
My rating scale: Excellent ; Very Good ; Good ; Fair ; Poor.
by Jamie McGuinness. Highly Recommended! This is the best trekking book I have ever used. The maps are especially detailed and accurate. It includes a detailed section on the Rolwaling trek from Barabise or Charikot to Simigoan, to Beding and Na with views of Gauri Shankar, and crossing the Tesi Lapcha pass to Thame.
by Steve Razzetti. This book contains basic information on 25 treks in Nepal, including Humla to Mount Kailash, the Annapurna Sanctuary and Circuit, the Dhaulagiri Circuit, Around Manaslu, Rolwaling, Gokyo and Everest, Makalu, and Kangchenjunga. It also contains very good route guides and descriptions of climbing 12 trekking peaks, including Pisang, Chulu, Ramdung, Lobuche East, Imja Tse, and Mera. The maps are basic. The photos are excellent.
It includes a 5-page section on the Rolwaling trek from Barabise to Simigoan, to Beding and Na with views of Gauri Shankar, and crossing the Tesi Lapcha pass to Thame, and finishing at Namche Bazaar. It also includes Ramdung and Parchamo trekking peaks.
Top Of Page
by Gary McCue. Highly recommended! An excellent book detailing the popular treks like Everest North Base Camp and Kailash Kora, and less common treks like Everest North Advanced Base Camp, Everest East Kangshung Base Camp, Shishapangma South and North Base Camps, Cho Oyu Advanced Base Camp, and Menlungtse.
by Victor Chan. Over a thousand pages. Buy this book if you want extremely detailed information. This book is an extremely detailed travel and pilgrimage guide with lots of maps.
It has a 25-page section on a trek titled Lapchi - Milarepa's magical hermitages. It goes from Tashigang just north of Nyalam, passes the Menlung Valley to the Rongshar Valley and over the Phusi la to Cho Oyu Base Camp.
by Gyurme Dorje. More detailed than Lonely Planet, but the travel maps are small and hard to read and some of the place names are not the common ones used.
It has two pages on the trek from Tingri to Cho Oyu Base Camp, and over the Phusi La to the Rongshar Valley.
Top Of Page
Gauri Shankar and Menlungtse are featured in only a few books. Here are my favourites:
by Peter Boardman. Published 1982. This book describes Boardman's climbs between December 1978 and November 1979 including the Carstensz Pyramid in New Guinea (8 pages of colour photos), the impressive first ascent of Kangchenjunga North Ridge (8 pages of colour photos), and the first ascent of the South Summit of Gauri Shankar (8 pages of colour photos). The photos are very good. The cover photo is the west ridge of Gauri Shankar.
Earlier in 1979 an American/Nepalese expedition led by Al Read made the first ascent of the North Summit of Gauri Shankar, with John Roskelley and Dorje Sherpa reaching the summit on May 8, 1979. Boardman then chose to try the West Ridge to the South Summit. This was as long, fine and intricate a ridge climb as has ever been done in the Himalaya, exposed for long sections and demanding sustained care. Boardman, Tim Leach, Guy Neidhardt, and Pemba Lama made it to the summit on November 8, 1979.
"The ridge was a cutting edge between light and shade. A mighty barrier, it divided winds and snowstorms, cultures and countries. Also, it was our only delicate support between earth and sky."
Pete Boardman and Joe Tasker disappeared in March 1982 climbing the North East Ridge of Everest. The Boardman Tasker Prize for Mountain Literature was established in their memory.
by John Roskelley. Published 1991. The first half of the book details the first ascent of Tawoche's massive Northeast Face, with Roskelley and Jeff Lowe reaching the summit on February 13, 1989 after in 9 days on the face. There are nine pages of colour photos. "The only solid was at my back. Everything was air - above, to my sides, roward the valley. ... Above me only was four thousand feet of potential rock and ice sewage ready to flush."
The second half of the book starts with a brief story about the first ascent of Gauri Shankar by Roskelley and Dorje Sherpa on May 8, 1979. It then documents the attempt on Menlungtse's main summit via the southeast ridge. Roskelley and Greg Child were stopped at 6460m by bottomless snow and teetering cornices. There are seven pages of colour photos. "... above our heads was the ugliest, meanest avalanche-prone face that ever funneled a rock onto a climber's helmet. ... With the axe handle, I jabbed into the cornice, felt a vacuum where solid ice should have been, then pulled it out. I was looking through the cornice at Cho Oyu".
I really like the writing style, honest, humorous and thoughtful.
by Andy Fanshawe. Published 1990. The first half of the book details the author's five-person team's first traverse of the twin peaks of Chogolisa (7665m and 7654m), on August 14, 1986 by the author, Liam Elliott, Hamish Irvine, Ulric Jessop, and Simon Lamb. Elliot was killed two weeks later when a cornice collapsed during an attempt on Broad Peak. There are four pages of colour photos. The front cover is Chogolisa.
The second half of the book documents the first ascent of Menlungtse's 7023m West summit by Fanshawe and Alana Hinkes on May 23, 1988 on Chris Bonington's four-person team. There are four pages of colour photos. The back cover is the West face of Menlungtse.
"... we glimpsed Menlungtse itself. It looked outrageously steep. ... We could not see the main summit, but the lower, West summit, ahead, easily fixed my gaze. It was so tall, and elegant! So much rock!" ... "Then I sat and let myself weep. I had overdosed on adrenalin. The summit did not occupy my mind, just the exhilaration of climbing the face, in particular the final pitch. It had taken three hours to overcome just fifty metres."
I like Fanshawe's writing style.
by Raymond Lambert and Claude Kogan. Published 1956. The book describes the five-person Swiss reconnaissance in 1954 of Gauri Shankar and Menlungtse, and their attempt on Cho Oyu. There are 15 pages of b/w photos. Lambert and Kogan wrote different chapters, sometimes covering the same days from their two different perspectives.
After trekking down the Rowaling Khola in Nepal, they entered Tibet via the Hadengi La and viewed the south and east faces of Gauri Shankar. They then trekked along the south face of Menlungtse, crossed the Menlung La back into Nepal and hiked up the Nangpa La to Cho Oyu. Herbert Tichy's three-person Austrian team was already there and became the first to climb Cho Oyu. Lambert and Kogan made it to 7800m before being turned back by repeated days of excessive wind.
"We saw the whole South Face of Gaurisankar, its great walls and ridges soaring straight towards heaven. ... we could examine in detail the east ridge of Gaurisankar, the south ridge, and the great face between the two ridges. It was immediately obvious that there was no way up the face."
"… the south face of Menlungtse, a tremendous white pyramid which revealed to our questing gaze no possible route of ascent. ... To the left glittered the west face of Menlungtse, an abrupt face of bare rock so steep that no snow rested on it. Ten thousand feet above, the unconquered pyramids of the twin summits reared themselves, seeming to defy the world."
Top Of Page
My favourite books that partially feature Gauri Shankar and Menlungtse are:
by Koichiro Ohmori. Published 1998. One of Michael Chessler's Best Mountain Photo Books. This book features 44 spectacular 2-page aerial photos of the 8000m Nepalese mountains - Kangchenjunga, Makalu, Everest and Lhotse, Cho Oyu, Manaslu, Annapurna and Dhaulagiri (cover) - and several others, including Jannu, Nuptse, and Ama Dablam. Route diagrams and some basic history of the first few ascents are also included.
There is one 2-page photo of Menlungtse and one 2-page photo of Gauri Shankar.
by Chris Bonington. This edition printed 1996. Famed British mountaineer Chris Bonington tells his autobiography mostly in photos in this coffee-table type book. The book features his early climbs in Great Britain; his alpine climbs in the Alps including Mont Blanc, the Eiger and Grandes Jorasses; his expeditions around the world including Paine in Chile, Baffin Island and the Blue Nile; and his expeditions both large and small to the Himalayas and the Karakorum - Annapurna II, Nuptse, Annapurna I South Face, Everest Southwest Face, Everest Northeast Ridge, the Ogre, K2, and Menlungtse.
Bonington devotes six pages to the two expeditions he led to Menlungtse in 1987 and 1988. The 1987 expedition was turned back by violent storms. Bonington's four-person 1988 team made the first ascent of Menlungtse's 7023m West summit by Alan Fanshawe and Alana Hinkes on May 23, 1988.
Bonington's photos are excellent.
by Andy Fanshawe, Stephen Venables. Published 1996. This book briefly details 40 of the world's finest climbs on mountains in Pakistan (including Broad Peak, K2 and Nanga Parbat), India, Nepal and Tibet (including Annapurna, Shishapangma, Cho Oyu, Everest, Makalu and Kangchenjunga). Each climb is illustrated with many excellent photos, climbing routes, and summary statistics and information. Each area has an excellent overview map. The front cover is Kangchenjunga.
There are 5 pages on Menlungtse West Face/South-East face and 6 pages on Gauri Shankar West Face.
by Shiro Shirahata. Published 1983. One of Michael Chessler's Best Mountain Photo Books. A large, heavy quality paper, coffee-table type book featuring 115 spectacular photos, over half double-pages, of the 8000m Nepalese mountains - Kangchenjunga, Makalu, Everest and Lhotse (cover), Cho Oyu, Manaslu, Annapurna, Dhaulagiri - and many others, including Jannu, Nuptse, and Ama Dablam.
There is a 1-page photo of Menlungtse, and a 1-page and a 2-page photo of Gauri Shankar. The photos are excellent.
by Laurent Doldi. Published 2006. In French and English. A large soft-cover photo book detailing 10 Himalayan treks: K2 Base Camp (12 pages. 23 photos), Ladakh to Zanskar (16 pages, 38 photos), Jeep tour in Kinnaur Spiti and Ladakh (12 pages, 32 photos), the Sources of the Ganges in India (14 pages, 30 photos), Dolpo (18 pages, 36 photos), Around Annapurna (22 pages, 45 photos), Helambu and the sacred lakes of Gosainkund (16 pages, 29 photos), Rolwaling Valley in winter (18 pages, 37 photos), Everest Base Camp and Gokyo Lakes (20 pages, 41 photos), and Kangchenjunga Base Camps in Nepal (21 pages, 44 photos). Each chapter starts with a very brief overview including a map and altitude profile. The front cover is K2. There are 360 colour photos.
This is very good companion book to a trekking guide, enabling you to visualize what you will experience on a trek. The photos are very good.
by Jill Neate. Published 1990. Documents the climbing history, including first ascents, of all the 7000m peaks in the world, their various faces and subsidiary peaks, including good photos and maps.
There are three pages on Gauri Shankar and Menlungtse.
by Reinhold Messner. Revised in 2001. Messner briefly details the big mountain walls in the world in the Himalayas, the Karakorum, the Alps, South America, Alaska and the Caucasus.
It includes two pages on climbing Menlungtse Main Summit, North-East Face.
I like this as a reference book. The photos are very good.
Top Of Page
For news on the rare Gauri Shankar and Menlungtse expeditions, I check the following:
There are a few informational Gauri Shankar and Menlungtse websites, with my favourites being:
There are a few expedition and trekking websites, with my favourites being:
I thoroughly enjoy reading other people's travelogues and looking through their photos. Here are my favourites on Gauri Shankar and Menlungtse:
Top Of Page