Alan Rousseau paused, breathing hard at 6200 meters above sea level. Lifting his arms out of the neck-deep snow, he used his ice tools to clear his path upward. The light, faceted flakes sloughed back onto him, but he burrowed upward; his partner, Tino Villanueva, followed behind. The motions repeated for 60 meters. Another pitch higher, he and Villanueva emerged on the summit of Pachermo (6275m).
Over seven weeks in October and November, Americans Rousseau and Villanueva climbed 2700 meters of technical new terrain in Nepal's Rolwaling Himal. They made a Grade V ascent of Pachermo's west face and reached 1500 meters on Tengi Ragi Tau (6938m) before descending, unable to find a safe bivy option.
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