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Chulu West climb for Soi Dog aborted by snowstorm

Chulu West climb for Soi Dog aborted by snowstorm

PHUKET: The attempt by Phuket residents Yanisa Kingmala-Beven and her husband Rohun to climb Chulu West in Nepal to help raise funds for Phuket’s Soi Dog Foundation has been aborted by a snowstorm that prevented any climbers from reaching the peak.

By The Phuket News

Sunday 22 May 2022, 11:29AM

Yanisa, 51, and Rohun, 64, are both healthy and well. “No injuries apart from the mental disappointment of not reaching the summit,” Rohun told The Phuket News.

“We had gained an altitude of 5,400m on the summit attempt.  We were climbing on ropes up towards camp 1 for an acclimatisation and training day.  We returned back down to high camp at 5,200m for an overnight stay in the tent,” Rohun explained. 

“We woke at 5am and it had snowed over 20cm during the night with very poor visibility. The conditions made it impossible to move up higher so the climb was aborted.

“There were two other international teams perched on the rocks at high camp and all teams decided to descend back to base camp. No teams made it to the summit all season. It took over an hour of cautious trekking down a very steep face to reach base camp,” he said.

The wind was not a factor so there was no damage to the tents or other equipment, Rohun confirmed  The overnight temperature went down to around -5°C. 

“The total trek was 19 days with 12 days actually on the trail. Our first shower was on day 13 and a welcome relief indeed. We spent three days in Pokhara for rest and recuperation,” Rohun said.

“The overall effects of the physical challenge and time sent at altitude certainly have had a debilitating impact on the body. The first beer went down rather well,” he said. 

The couple began their descent on day 10, from high camp, through base camp and back down to Ladar, the highest village on the trek at 4,900m.

The three-day descent took the couple through the famous Thorong La Pass in Damorar Himal. Thorong La Pass is known as the highest mountain pass in the world, and at 5,416m is ironically the same altitude the couple managed when climbing Chulu West.

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Yanisa and Rohun started their climb up to the pass at 3am and took around four hours up very steep terrain.

“After rest stops in Pokhahra and Calchhi, where we have some Nepalese friends, we finally arrived back in Kathmandu on day 19,” Rohun confirmed.

Yanisa and Rohun will now continue their journey to the UK to recover and enjoy a break. “We are going to England for the summer and begin the planning for the next expedition,” Rohun said.

“We plan to be back in Phuket in late August to see our four rescue dogs who will have missed us,” he added.

The couple have reached their goal in raising $3,000 for Phuket’s Soi Dog Foundation, which will directly go towards helping the stray dogs and cats of Southeast Asia.

“We have raised, to date, over $3,000 and the fundraiser will stay open until May 28,” Rohun confirmed

“Thank you to everyone who donated to Soi Dog Foundation and supported the climb,” he said, stressing the importance of the support that he and Yanisa have received.

People can still donate to the cause on the Facebook fundraising page or through the Soi Dog website (for people in Thailand).

“We are already planning our next expedition to come back for another try at a 6,000m in Nepal. Watch this space,” Rohun teased.

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Fascinated | 23 May 2022 - 19:10:34

People try to achieve something, armchair critics knock them- just another day on the internet folks.

Kurt | 23 May 2022 - 05:42:11

Do I remember correct that Soi Dog recently donated  500,000.- to Ukraine for dogs and cats? How is Phuket's Government Dog & Cat shelter, with more than 1000 animals, doing now?

suave | 22 May 2022 - 19:09:25

If they had put all the money they spent on the trip itself the dogs would have themselves a right good amount.


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