/ Advice on first Himalayas 6k peak, please
Looking for advice on first Himalayas 6k peak with an expedition company. Have climbed D routes on ice, rock, snow (guided) in the Alps so I would like something technical, perhaps around AD. Looking for something that is relatively safe objectively. Considered Ama Dablam but it's possibly a bit crowded?
Does anyone have any recommendations please? I saw Jagged Globe have some nice offerings, though they're a bit expensive.
Unless you really want the Himalayas go to South America, there are more great 5000 and 6000m peaks than you can shake a stick at. Don't be too grade or height focused, pick the best routes and lines.
I've used Jagged Globe a couple of times although it was some time ago, cant recommend them enough, price wise they are not the cheapest but that's because of the level of service and reliability they provide. They do some great trips and if you've never been to the Himalayas then your in for a treat. Mera and Island peaks are great starters for 6000mtrs peaks over there and the route through the Hinku and hongu valleys are stunning.
In that part of the world its nice to know you have a reliable travel company at your back.
Most commercially guided trips are, by nature, on pretty easy routes and it's a good idea to aim for a tech level well below what you climb in the Alps, as altitude, illness, time, lack of will etc all intervene to make things tougher.
If you don't like crowds, stay off the main Khumbu peaks of Imja Tse, Lobuje and Mera. But companies do guide Cholatse SW ridge (now a Trekking Peak but not easy), Kyajo Ri (popular but not often summited) or Nirekha, so maybe google for them.
In the Indian Himalaya the most popular 6K is Stok Kangri near Leh, but it is very easy and often crowded. Ladakh has some other peaks easily organised but they are non-technical. Kang Yatse / Kang Yissay, often has its lower summit KYII guided, but it is nothing really, though an ascent of KY proper, via the east side, would be a good climb easily organised, and there are nice easy peaks nearby. In other parts of Himachal local companies will guide peaks like CB13, Indrasan or Menthosa but you'd need a partner really.
I have done Stok Kangri and it was an amazing expedition. Not very technical though, just a semi exposed ridge walk with crampons and ice axes near the top.
Alpamayo in Peru was another level though and would highly recommend it. Loads more technical stuff to go at in Peru that's fairly easily accessible so unless you're set on the Himalaya I would head to Peru where you could easily complete 3-4 technical 6,000m (ish) peaks with a local guide from the Peruvian Mountain Guides Association in a 3 week trip.
Nice video of Alpamayo summit here:
I can't recommend any particular peak, but would wholeheartedly endorse Rimo Expeditions (primarily Nepal based) as an expedition company.
Alternatively I could put you in contact with a very experienced Nepalese guide who might well be able to arrange something on a freelance basis. This would naturally be cheaper but you wouldn't get the benefits of a company should issues arise.
I suggest Peru. Less hassle, better food, and fewer people than Nepal. Easy to organise your own trip and no peak permits needed, just a parks pass.
Try the Quebrada Ishinca (Ishinca Valley). Acclimatise at 4400m at the hut or camp site. Then do Urus Este (5420m, PD-) and Ishinca (5530m, PD). That will set you up for Tocllaraju (6032m, AD) and/or Ranrapalca (6162m, D). Both should be within your capabilities with a guide. Guides are available in Huaraz (3052m), the local town. The walk in is only one day. There are day walks around town to get ready. The three day Santa Cruz trek is excellent.
There are many other combinations at PD to AD but they would involve more time going from valley to valley. Feel free to email me if you want more information.
If you are not convinced, then I definitely recommend Jagged Globe for Nepal.
I can't thank you all enough for your extremely helpful replies. It seems the message is that I should look at something a bit easier than the usual alpine grade for high altitude stuff.
I didn't consider Peru previously but it sounds like there are some great options there. I also wanted to try Patagonia but I've heard that it's tougher and more wild than the equivalent peaks elsewhere.
Himalayas still appeals because of the incredible scenery - to see the highest peaks in the world.
Thanks also for the advice on tour guides. Will most likely travel alone, so ideally it would be in a guided group.
You could look at a trip with ISM to Kyrgyzstan.
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