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Mt. Gauri Sankar

Alternate names for the mountain
include Gauri Sankar and Jomo Tseringma (the Tibetan name for the peak).
Mt. Gauri Sankar

Introduction to Gauri Sankar
Gauri Sankar is a mountain in the Himalayas, the second highest peak of the Rolwaling Himal, behind Melungtse (7,181m). The name comes from Sanskrit for the Goddess and her Consort, denoting the sacred regard to which is afforded it by the peoples of Tibet and Nepal. Alternate names for the mountain include Gauri Sankar and Jomo Tseringma (the Tibetan name for the peak).

Location of Gauri Sankar
Gauri Sankar lies near the western edge of the Rolwaling Himal, about 100km northeast of Kathmandu. (It is almost directly between Kathmandu and Mount Everest, and is visible from Kathmandu.) To the west of the peak lies the valley of the Bhote Kosi, the western boundary of the Rolwaling Himal. To the north lies the Menlung Chu, which separates it from its sister peak Menlungtse. To the south lies the Rolwaling Chu, which leads up to the Tesi Lapcha pass, giving access to the Khumbu region.


Notable features of Gauri Sankar
The mountain has two summits, the northern (higher) summit being called Shankar (a manifestation of Shiva) and the southern summit being called Gauri (a manifestation of Shiva's consort). It rises dramatically above the Bhote Kosi only 5km away, and is protected on all sides by steep faces and long, corniced ridges.

Climbing Attempts
The first attempts to climb Gauri Sankar were made in the 1950s and 1960s but weather, avalanches and difficult ice faces defeated all parties. From 1965 until 1979, the mountain was officially closed for climbing. When permission was finally granted in 1979, an American-Nepalese expedition finally managed to gain the top, via the West Face. This was a route of extreme technical difficulty. The permit from the Nepalese Ministry of Tourism stipulated that the summit could only be reached if an equal number of climbers from both nations were on the summit team. John Roskelley and Dorje Sherpa fulfilled that obligation.

In the same year, a British-Nepalese expedition climbed the long and difficult Southwest Ridge to the south summit (7010m). Though they did not make the long additional traverse to the main summit, their climb was a significant achievement in itself.

The Himalayan Index lists only two additional ascents of the main summit of Gauri Sankar. Both of these involved Ang Kami Sherpa, and the second was in fact a winter ascent in January 1986.

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