Machapuchare, February 2009
|Elevation||6,993 m (22,943 ft)|
|Prominence||1,233 m (4,045 ft)|
|Translation||Fish's Tail (Nepali)|
|Location||North Central Nepal|
|First ascent||Unclimbed - ascents not allowed|
Machapuchare or Machapuchre (माछापुच्छ्रे) Lit. "Fish Tail" in English, is a mountain in the Annapurna Himal of north central Nepal. It is revered by the local population as particularly sacred to the god Shiva, and hence is off limits to climbing.
Machhapuchhre is at the end of a long spur ridge, coming south out of the main backbone of the Annapurna Himal, that forms the eastern boundary of the Annapurna Sanctuary. (The Sanctuary is a favorite trekking destination, and the site of the base camps for the South Face of Annapurna and for numerous smaller objectives.) The peak is about 25 km north of Pokhara, the main town of the region.
Due to its southern position in the range, and the particularly low terrain that lies south of the Annapurna Himal, Machapuchare commands tremendous vertical relief in a short horizontal distance. This, combined with its steep, pointed profile, make it a particularly striking peak, despite a lower elevation than some of its neighbors. Its double summit resembles the tail of a fish, hence the name meaning "Fish's Tail" in Nepali language It is also nicknamed the "Matterhorn of Nepal".
Machapuchare has never been climbed to its summit. The only attempt was in 1957 by a British team led by Jimmy Roberts. Climbers Wilfrid Noyce and A. D. M. Cox climbed to within 50 m (164 ft.) of the summit via the north ridge; to an approximate altitude of 22,793 ft., but did not complete the ascent; they had promised not to set foot on the actual summit. Since then, the mountain has been declared sacred, and it is now closed to climbers.
- Andy Fanshawe and Stephen Venables, Himalaya Alpine Style. Hodder and Stoughton, 1995.
- Wilfrid Noyce, Climbing the Fish's Tail, London, 1958
- Koichiro Ohmori, Over The Himalaya, Cloudcap Press/The Mountaineers, 1994.
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