Ramsden and Miller Make the First Ascent of Surma-Sarovar (6605m)

Less than a month after being announced as the recipients of a Piolet d'Or for their 2022 ascent of 'The Phantom Line' on Jugal Spire (6563m), Paul Ramsden and Tim Miller have returned from Nepal with another stunning first ascent on an unclimbed peak.

Miller and Ramsden on the Summit - Photo: Paul Ramsden

The pair, along with Hamish Frost and Matt Glenn, travelled to the Salimor Khola in the far west corner of Nepal. The area had seen very few previous visits and the team had limited information and no photos of the valley to help with their planning. Howerver, what they saw on Google Earth looked promising and ultimately, the huge effort required to reach the valley proved worthwhile.

Over fours days, Ramsden and Miller established a route to the summit of the previously unclimbed Surma-Sarovar (6605m). Their route climbed the mountain's colossal north face which stretches for 2km above the valley floor. Miller noted that the route's major difficulties involved crossing a rock band between 6000 and 6250m. After this, the weather turned and the pair summitted in poor conditions before starting a complex descent, made more hazardous by the fresh snow. The whole descent, which involved downclimbing a long ridge, took two days.

The line of ascent (right) and descent (left) Note: The image does not show the entirety of the north face - Photo: Hamish Frost

Commenting on the expedition experience overall, Miller said: "The social aspect of being a team of four was definitely the highlight for me and we all agreed that it was the wildest trip we had ever been on."

Glenn and Frost made attempts on two adjacent peaks, but on both occasions were forced to retreat in the face of poor conditions.

The expedition was supported by both the Montane Alpine Club Climbing Fund and a grant from the Mount Everest Foundation.