Millet Team athletes Charles Dubouloz and Symon Welfringer open a new route on Hungchi

Climbing alpine style in May, French mountaineers Charles Dubouloz and Symon Welfringer made the first ascent of a new route on Hungchi (7,029m) on the border of Tibet and Nepal. The expedition was supported by French equipment manufacturer Millet.
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Charles Dubouloz and Symon Welfringer making the first ascent of 'Le Cavalier sans tête', a new route on Hungchi (7,029m), May 2024
Millet archive

To open a new route on a virgin face of a completely unknown summit. To set out on the basis of binoculars and mountaineering experience alone. This is the the essence of high-level Himalayan climbing. By making the first alpine-style ascent of the Hungchi, Charles and Symon embodied the ultimate expression of exploratory mountaineering, an ode to the conquest of the absolute. An expedition supported by French equipment manufacturer Millet.

Charles and Symon set off at 5am on 17 May from their advanced base camp at 5,300m. Following Symon's complicated acclimatisation and bronchial infection on arrival, the start was uncertain until the last minute.The climb proved to be a technical one, with one long stretch after another to the pass atThe climb proved to be a technical one, with one pitch after another until they reached the pass at 6,580m, where they were able to build a makeshift bivouac.The climb proved to be a technical one, with one pitch after another until they reached the col at 6,580m, where they were able to build a makeshift bivouac.

Despite Symon's advanced state of fatigue, the team's unfailing determination enabled them to reach the summit at 1.30pm on 18 May, Charles's birthday.Charles and Symon had just completed the first alpine-style ascent of Hungchi. Charles and Symon had just completed the first alpine-style ascent of Hungchi. The weather soon changed, despite their weather router's initial optimistic forecast. With the arrival of snow and fog, a race against time began. The team struggled to descend 300m in just a few hours and decided to bivouac on the spot despite the extremely strong wind.

When they woke up the next morning, the snow was still falling. Symon and Charles were faced with a decisive choice and had to adapt their descent strategy.

They decided to abandon the tent to save time. A third bivouac was no longer an option, and the two guides opted to descend on the opposite side (east), a huge unknown with no guarantee of reaching the bottom of the face and no way back. It was a gamble that paid off after several hours and numerous abseils, bringing them back to the other side of the Hungchi, safe and sound.

Hungchi: 7,029m, on the Nepal-Tibet border
History of known ascents (source: Himalayan Database)
• 2003 Japanese ascent (South-West ridge)
• 2003 Korean ascent (South-West ridge)
• 2006 Japanese ascent (Tibetan side)
• 2024, 18 May: 1st in alpine style: opening of "Le Cavalier sans tête", 1700 m by Charles Dubouloz and Symon Welfringer

Info: www.millet-mountain.com


Expo / News
03/06/2024 - Millet
Millet Team athletes Charles Dubouloz and Symon Welfringer open a new route on Hungchi
Climbing alpine style in May, French mountaineers Charles Dubouloz and Symon Welfringer made the first ascent of a new route on Hungchi (7,029m) on the border of Tibet and Nepal. The expedition was supported by French equipment manufacturer Millet.
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