A NOTE ON THE DHAULA HIMAL OF CENTRAL NEPAL
By J. O. M. ROBERTS
When the mountain explorer discovers he has made a major topographical mistake it is as well to admit it quickly, before someone else has the satisfaction of pointing out the error of his ways.
I have recently had the opportunity of seeing some of the sheets of the high mountain areas surveyed by the Survey of India for the Government of Nepal on a scale of one inch to one mile during the late 1950′s and early 1960′s. Soon after returning from the Royal Air Force Expedition to Dhaulagiri IV at the end of 1965, a further examination of photographs taken by myself and others in earlier times from the north began to raise doubts in my mind about the identification of some of the mountains at the western end of the Dhaula Himal. One thing became certain. The mountain which I had identified as Dhaulagiri IV in 1954 from the north was not the ‘Dhaulagiri IV of my 1962 (A.J., Vol. 68, 188-97) and 1965 Royal Air Force (A J., Vol. 71, 75-88) Expeditions.
My immediate solution to the problem was to change the ‘ IV’ in my 1954 photographs to ‘V’, but the doubts remained. If that big, massive, rather flat-topped mountain was in fact Dhaulagiri V, what had happened to IV, which ought to appear to the west before Churen Himal?
The doubts remained until I was able to examine the ‘new’ sheet 62 P/6 (surveyed 1957-62), which revealed the truth with brutal clarity. My ‘Dhaulagiri IV’ of 1962 and 1965 was a hitherto unrecorded mountain, 23,846 feet in height, lying on a ridge running south from the main crest of the Dhaula Himal, about two miles west from the summit of IV, to Gurja Himal (23,599 feet). Approaching from the west, this high ridge completely obscures the true Dhaulagiri IV (25,133 feet) which is, of course, the mountain correctly identified as such in 1954.
It is a poor excuse to blame the old quarter-inch survey, which is, as everybody knows, often very much at fault in its delineation of remote mountain areas. Here, the ridge south to Gurja Himal is shown as running from the summit of Dhaulagiri IV itself. Thus, according to the old map, the west and south-west flanks of Dhaulagiri IV rise from and overlook the same glacier which drains the southern sides of Churcn Himal (24,184 feet) and Putha Hiunchuli (23,774 feet).
[It has not been possible to change the article without further explanations and extensive rewriting.—editor.]
South of the mountains, too, the old sheet 62 P poses plenty of problems to a newcomer. But these problems I had slowly solved in 1962 and when at last we emerged on to a large glacier draining both Churcn and Putha Hiunchuli, with a magnificent mountain at its head joined by a high ridge to Gurja Himal, the pieces of the puzzle suddenly seemed to fall into place. 1 simply took it for granted that the big mountain (23,846 feet) was Dhaulagiri IV and 1 never questioned the true height.
1,287 feet is quite an error to make. I can only say that Peak 23,846 seen from the west is a mountain of considerable bulk and illusory height, and I still find it difficult to believe it is only 247 feet higher than Gurja Himal. Once recognized, from the south-east too, from the hills above Pokhara, its long white crest appears lower than Dhaulagiri IV, but not over 1,000 feet lower. However, I am not questioning the accuracy of the heights, only stating my impressions.
Having laid some of my cards on the table I may perhaps be forgiven for withholding, for the time being, sketch-maps and photographs. Further possibilities in the range are now more exciting than they ever were before and my only real regret is that I took my Royal Air Force friends to the wrong mountain. To them I apologize. Climbing friends in Nepal to whom I have confessed my gaffe have merely congratulated me on ‘discovering’ a new 7,000-metre mountain. That is one way of looking at it. But it is irritating to think that had we not been overawed by the height of the supposed 25-thousander in 1962 we might have even climbed the mountain. It is irritating, too, to be reminded that some private parties in recent years in West and Central Nepal have been exploring ‘new’ country, which has already been mapped by all the resources of a national survey including the use of aircraft. I refer to the private efforts not of irresponsible guessers and prismatic-compass-sketchers such as myself, but to trained, serious men armed with theodolites, log tables and the knowledge to use them.
The heights given in this note are those of the one-inch survey. Most of the mountains have risen some 30 or 40 feet, and I fear this modern survey is going to put the cat among the statistical pigeons. Finally, it is pleasant to record that the north peak of Ghustung Himal which we climbed in 1962 and again in 1965 and to which I ascribed an altitude of only 21,200 feet is, in fact, 21,419 feet high.
TREKS FROM KULU VALLEY
By FELIX K. KNAUTH
Felix K. Knauth and Ernest Petersen spent three weeks in July 1966 climbing in the Punjab Himalaya. From Kulu Valley, about 350 miles due north of New Delhi, we first drove and then hiked approximately 30 miles eastwards, up the valley of the Parbati River to the last village, Pulga. From there packing into a high valley to the north-east, Tichu nullah, took a week’s work, as the last portion of the route involved rock-climbing too steep for local porters.
From a Base Camp in Tichu nullah at about 12,000 feet, we spent a few days exploring this virtually unknown country. Just the lower portion of Tichu nullah had previously been visited by a mountaineering party, and that only for a day as the party was descending from another valley closely adjacent. The lower portion is beautiful meadows abounding with wild flowers, while the upper portion is heavily glaciated. Rising from Tichu nullah are at least a dozen rock and snow peaks of 18,000-20,000 feet, all unclimbed and unattempted.
In the interest of safety, we chose one of the lower peaks and climbed it in a day, straight up from Base Camp. It was 18,500 feet and presented few technical difficulties except for some stretches of very steep snow below the summit ridge. We named this peak Tos-Tichu Himal as it is the westernmost peak of the high dividing ridge between Tichu and Tos nullahs. At least three other points on this ridge are higher than the one we climbed. We then turned to the peak on the southern side of lower Tichu nullah, another 18,500 footer. We made two all-out attempts here, the second one ending just touching the underside of the summit cornice. After a brief debate, as the warm sun began to push snow slides on both sides of us, we hurried down out of danger and eventually to our homes in New Delhi.
THUJI CHEY, JAONLI
By KRISHNA CHAUDHURI
ate in the morning of June 6, 1966, four mountaineers. Hari Dang, Tsering Lhakpa, Pervez Merwanji and Nima Sherpa, stood on the summit of Jaonli, 21,760 feel. The same was done on the following day by Lt. A. K. Kaul, Lhakpa Sherpa and Krishna Chaudhuri.
The morning of June 7 was gloriously fine. We awoke to find that Sona Sherpa had slept badly and while cooking had apparently inhaled petrol fumes with the result that he was unwell and could not climb any higher. The sun shone bright yet the cold was intense. We found the wind troublesome for it interfered with the handling of the Primus.
The wind having slowed down we set off at about 6 a.m. to complete the final lap. We could not see the mountain from our camp. We roped up, not because of any technical difficulties that were to be encountered but because the way ahead was covered with concealed crevasses. Lhakpa carried a light rucksack which contained some food. As for the photographic equipment, I carried it myself. We trudged steadily up the snow slopes. Our progress became slower and we felt the need for a rest after every twenty steps.
As we rounded a cornice of Jaonli IT we got the first glimpse of the summit ridge and the summit in the far distance. On looking down towards Camp II we saw the other members of the party watching our progress. They were not with us physically but mentally ; they shared every bit of our final adventure. The going became difficult as we had to traverse along a steep ice face. After getting to the top we mounted steadily on crusted snow. We struggled on till about 300 feet above us there lay the summit. We were now happy that our objective was in sight and we moved faster but, alas, on climbing the ridge in front of us we found that the summit was still about a hundred yards away!
We collapsed, exhausted, and our watchers thinking we had given up at the eleventh hour shared our exhaustion with disappointment. As we roused ourselves to proceed again their spirits brightened. Then followed a conflict between the will and the flesh when the desire of the mind was to go ahead but that of the body was to forget everything but rest. However, the thirst for endeavour struck a compromise and stirred us on to the dome-shaped summit—our goal.
The great joy of achievement was not ours alone, for the party at Camp II waved to us with equal happiness. There was a warm glow in our hearts coupled with a feeling of satisfaction for not giving in to obstacles that always obstruct the path to success.
Victory was ours.
NOTE ON THE NAME OF THE MOUNTAIN
The Survey of India call this mountain LEO PARGIAL on their J-inch sheet 53 I. Marco Pallis uses the same name in the H.J., Vol. VI, 1934. We found that the local name is REO PURGYOL and this fact and the spelling is confirmed by Mr. N. D. Jayal, who has been Deputy Commissioner of Kinnaur for seven years (1960-67).
The Gerrard brothers in reporting on their travels in the area in the early nineteenth century used RIWO for the first name and a variation with a very similar pronunciation for PURGYOL (I forget the exact spelling).
I have written to the Indian Mountaineering Foundation on this matter and their response is awaited.
BRIEF NOTES ON THE 1966 EXPEDITIONS RECORDED BY THE CLUB
Kokthang.—The only expedition was an Indian Ladies’ Expedition of Kokthang (20,166 feet) situated on the Sikkim-Nepal Border. The party led by Miss P. Athavle consisted of six members. They reached one of the humps on the final ridge, as had previous expeditions, but were unable to achieve the summit. They stopped some 200 feet below. The true summit situated at the north end of the summit ridge, therefore, remains unclimbed.
A total of 11 expeditions were recorded during the year, all of which were Indian.
Tirsuli.—The Himalayan Association of the Calcutta Expedition, led by Mr. C. Mitra, made the first ascent of Tirsuli (23,210 feet) on October 9. The peak is near Hardeol, which is above the Milan Glacier. It was first attempted by a Polish Expedition in 1939. There have been two earlier attempts one in 1964 and the other in 1965. A final camp was placed at 21,800 feel and the deputy leader, Mr. N. Mallik, and Mr. S. Chakraborly, together with two Sherpas, Tashi and Dorji, reached the summil.
Jaonli.—The Doon School Expedition, led by Han Dang, w;r. successful in climbing Jaonli (21,769 feet) on June ft. This is i first ascent. Previous attempts by Hari Dang, a Doon >.i hool- master, had been made in 1964 and 1965.
Mana,—Mr. B. Biswas led the Parbat Abhiyatri Sanglui I \ pedition which climbed Mana (23,862 feet) on September There were 12 members in the team. They made the ascent from the north. The final camp was placed at 22,800 feet and the summit was reached by P. Chakraborty, accompanied by Sherpas, Pasang Phutar, Tsering Lakpa and Pasang Tsering. There was an unfortunate accident on the way when four Sherpas fell something like 1,000 feet. Two were seriously injured but, fortunately, there was no loss of life.
Gangotri.—A mixed team of 12 members from Gujarat University visited the Gangotri area. They climbed Gangotri I (21,890 feet) on June 25 when Nandini Patel, Swati Desi, K. Patel and Bhatt, together with three Sherpas, reached the summit. Gangotri II (21,650 feet) Peak was climbed on June 20 by the expedition leader, Dr. Bharat Shukla, accompanied by Rahal Thacker and two Sherpas. This is a first ascent. On June 27 V. Ghosh and others climbed Rudragiri Peak (19,090 feet).
Mana Parbat.—An expedition organized by the Calcutta Mountaineering Club attempted Mana Parbat (22,290 feet) and reached a height of 21,200 feet. They also attempted Mana Parbat IT (22,214 feet) and were again unsuccessful having reached a height of 21,700 feet. The expedition consisted of eight members and was led by S. Chaudhuri.
Bhagirati II.—Mr. S. Bose led an expedition organized by Calcutta Climbers to the Satopanth group. On October 27 the leader, accompanied by Govinda Raj, A. Roy and two Sherpas, made the first ascent of Bhagirati II (22,495 feet). A serious accident occurred on the way down when Roy and two Sherpas fell to their deaths and another member of the party was seriously frost-bitten.
Hanuman Parbat.—Professor A. R. Chandekar led the Giii Vihar (Bombay) Expedition to Hanuman Parbat, 19,903 feel, which lies on the northern rim of the peaks which surround Naiula Devi. It was visited by W. H. Murray’s Scottish Expedition in 1950 when they were turned back 900 feet from the summit Chandekar, D. C. Arora and two Sherpas, Lopsang and Dorje, reached the summit on June 1. A second party consisting of M. D. Gharat, T. S. Venkatraman and P. A. Shringarpure climbed the peak on June 3. They were accompanied by Sherpa Lopsang.
Garuda Bank.—An expedition from St. Stephen’s College, Delhi, led by Suman Dubey climbed Garuda Bank, 19,500 feet, on May 19. This was a first ascent. It was climbed again on the 20th and all six members of the party managed to reach the top.
Saptasringa.—P. K. Chakraborty led a nine-man expedition organized by a mountaineering association from Asansol to Saptasringa, 17,500 feet. Three members of the party climbed the peak on May 20.
Leo Pargial North, 22,280 feet, was attempted by an expedition led by Gurdial Singh and consisted of five members. They reached a height of over 22,000 feet and were very unlucky in not having sufficient time to reach the summit. This peak in Kinnaur District is also known as Riwo Phargyal and there is now a good reason to believe that this is a better name for it than the older one of Leo Pargial.
Major Valia led a six-man army expedition also to Leo Pargial North. They reached a height of 20,000 feet before having to turn back.
Kulu Pumori.—The National Defence Academy Expedition, led by Major Jagjit Singh, climbed Kulu Pumori, 21,500 feet, on June 14. The summit party consisted of Major Jagjit Singh, S. P. Singh, Major Cheema, A. Chandola and Sherpas Ang Kami and Sona. They followed a slightly different route than that taken by Pettigrew’s expedition in 1964.
Hanuman Tibba — R. G. Pettigrew, E. G. Warhurst, J. Nanavati and V. Nadkarni made the second ascent of Hanuman Tibba, 19,450 feet, on June 3. This peak was first climbed in 1912 by a Swiss guide, Henrich Fuhrer, and a Gurkha soldier. Members of the expedition also climbed two virgin peaks in the area ; one having a height of 17,400 feet and the other 16,524 feet.
Indian ladies, W.H.M.T. Expedition, made the third ascent of Hanuman Tibba on June 11. Four instructors and seven ladies reached the summit. The original objective of the expedition was Muker Beh which was abandoned when one of the instructors fell 2,000 feet.
Parbati Valley.—F. K. Knauth and E. Peterson visited the Parbati Valley area of Kulu. They climbed a 18,500-foot peak on the divide between Tichu and Tos nullahs and named it Tos- Tichu Himal. They also attempted another 18,500-foot peak on the southern side of the Tichu nullah but were unsuccessful in reaching the summit, being stopped only by the summit cornice.
Deo Tibba.—C. Pritchard and R. Hatch climbed Deo Tibba. 19,687 feet, on May 1. This is a most popular peak, and has been for the last few years. They also climbed P. 17,155 feel at the head of the Jagatsukh nullah and P. 16,316. Later (hey visited the head of the Malana Valley and climbed a 18,000-foot peak naming it Malana Towers.
Shilla.—The Kerala University Expedition, led by R. J. Kumar, climbed Shilla which is now assumed to be about 20,000 feet. The leader and the other members of the party, consisting of V. V. Srinivasan, J. Kumar, G. Verghese, G. Srikant, R. Prabhu, P. K. Das Chowdhury and H. Shah, reached the summit in two parties on October 19 and 20. The expedition also climbed other peaks in the area—Guan Nelda, 20,680 feet, Kanikma, 19,566 feet, and a rocky peak about 20,000 feet high, all near Shilla. They had earlier climbed Deo Tibba.
A small expedition in this area climbed Gori Chen, c. 22,500 feet. The expedition was led by T. Haralu and the deputy leader was Major J. C’. Joshi.
Noshaq.—The fourth Polish Hindu Kush Expedition, led by Dr. R. Sledziewski, consisted of 16 members including three ladies. It was the only expedition allowed into Wakhan in 1966. They made the fourth ascent of Noshaq, 24,580 feet, on August 30 when Bourgeois, Henrich, Kozlowski, Mroz, Poreba and Potocki reached the summit by the Western Range. They also climbed the eastern and western peaks. Next day Bala and Sadus repeated the climb. On August 23 Henrich and Sadus made the second ascent of Gunbaz-e-Safed, 22,310 feet, by a new route up the west ice face. On August 17 they climbed Sadh Ishtragh, 19,233 feet. They also climbed seven other peaks of lesser height.
Shingeik Zom.—Members of the Bavarian Expedition, led by T. Trubswetter, climbed Shingeik Zom, 23,920 feet. This peak lies east of Noshaq. Frau Trubswetter and K. Holch reached the summit on July 13.
Akher Chioh.—The Austrian Alpine Club (Graz Section), led by Hanns Schell, made the first ascent of Akher Chioh, 23,032 feet, on August 10. Schell and R. Goschl reached the summit. This peak lies to the east of Koh-i-Tez. Two other peaks on the ridge were also climbed—Kotgaz Zom, 21,920 feet, on August 13 and Chikar Zom, 17,340 feet, on August 6.
Bandaka.—The Tohoku Gakuin University Expedition, led by Genichi Hashimoto, visited the Bandaka group and reached the summit of Bandaka, 22,450 feet, on July 28. Matsukura and Sato were the summiters.
Dir Gol.—The Austrian Alpine (Admont Section) sent a four- man expedition to Chitral under the leadership of D. Oberbichler, accompanied by G. Schneeberger, G. Rupar and Almberger. They climbed in the Dir Gol area and succeeded in climbing four peaks, the highest being 18,323 feet. They also made an attempt on P. 6,240 (20,423 feet) and reached a height of 20,200 feet.
Udren Glacier.—The Austrian Alpine Club (Lofer Section) visited the Udren Glacier area. They succeeded in climbing three peaks, the highest being P. 6,130 (20,112 feet) on July 3. The expedition was led by A. Hagn.
Mankial, 18,750 feet, was climbed by a mixed party led by M. Hussain on September 17. The summit party consisted of J. McArthur, N. Norris and Fraulein Fuerst. As they were late in reaching the summit they spent the night on top. Next morning they started down. McArthur apparently unroped and fell to his death. Subsequently the girl slipped and dragged Norris down, but they were able to stop themselves. However, later in the day Fraulein Fuerst died of cold and exhaustion.
Darrah-e-Abi.—’This group lies near the confluence of the Manjan and Anjuman rivers. It is part of the central Hindu Kush. Tt was visited by a three-man Cambridge Hindu Kush Expedition and this is possibly the first climbing expedition ever to enter the valley. They achieved six peaks, first ascents, including the highest peak in the area, Rast Darrah, 19,551 feet, on July 1. The members of the expedition were H. Edmundson, J. Ashburner and P. Newby.
Bandaka Group.—A six-man expedition from Manchester set up Base Camp on the Munjan Col. They climbed 13 peaks, possibly all first ascents. The highest P. 18,600 which is on the ridge, which runs east from Bandaka, was climbed on August 2. The party consisted of C. Meredith, P. Booth, S. Crowther, T. Bell, B. Crosby and W. Rowntree.
The Japanese R.C.C. II Expedition, which was led by S. Yusu- kawa, established their Base Camp on the Munjan Col near the Manchester Expedition Base Camp, reported above. They climbed five peaks, the highest being Koh-i-Munjan, 18,143 feet. The other members of the party were vS. Shirahata, T. Ishii, H. Hotta, G. Ohashi, K. Nagasawa and K. Aoyagi.
Khwaja Muhammed Range.—The Carinthian Hindu Kush Expedition, led by Karl Gritzner, visited this range which is at the head of the Mashad Valley. They climbed eight peaks, the highest being P. 5,578 (18,360 feet). Other members of the party were W. Pretterebner, W. Unterlass and E. Winkler.
Parshui Valley.—The Bavarian Naturalfreunde Expedition, led by Hans Altheimer, visited the Munjan region and climbed 18 peaks around the Parshui Valley, the highest being P. 5,760 (18,900 feet).
Mir Samir.—An Austrian Expedition (Allgau Group), led by Hubert Schmid, made the third ascent of Mir Samir, 19,060 feet, on June 19.
Mir Samir was also climbed on July 8 by a Japanese Expedition, led by Toshitaka Chuma. The summiters were S. Tani, Junichi Chiba and Nobuki Togashi.
The Committee often receive requests for information concerning Tiger Badge Awards. We are recording below the official and minuted roll of awards of the Tiger Badge up to August 31, 1967.
|Date of Minute||Name||H/C No.||Expedition||Remarks|
|30-5-39||Lewa||46||Everest 1938||Died (year not known)|
|Pasang Kikuli||8||Not known||Died 1939|
|Kusang Namgir||9||Not known||Died 1950|
|Ang Tharkay||19||Everest 1938|
|Wangdi Norbu||25||Not known||Died 1952|
|Lakpa Tenzing||30||Everest 1938|
|Renzing||32||Not known||Died 1947|
|Tenzing Norgay||48||Everest 1938|
|Dawa Thondup||49||K2 1939|
|Dawa Tsering||53||Died 1939|
|Pasang Dawa Lama||139|
|Ang Tenzing||3||Died 1949|
|31 -4-40||Ang Tenzing||51|
|21-7-53||Ang Tempa III||155||Everest 1953|
|Ang Tsering||36||Everest 1952|
|Da Namgyal||157||Everest 1952|
|21-7-53||Dawa Tenzing||173||Everest 1953|
|Ang Nima||176||Everest 1953|
|Pasang Phuta||188||Everest 1953|
|Ang Namgyal||190||Everest 1953|
|Ang Temba IV||179||Kanchengjunga
|Gyalzen Nuru||163||Makalu 1955||Died 1961|
|Ang Phuta||186||Makalu 1955|
|Ang Nima||132||Dhaulagiri 1955|
|12-2-60||Sonam Girney||Nil||Everest 1960|
|Ang Norbu||Nil||Everest 1960|
|Da Norbu||193||Everest 1960|
|Pemba Sundar||182||Everest 1960|
|Da Norbu||161||Jannu 1959|
|9-8-62||Mingma Tsering||340||Makalu 1961|
|Pemba Tenzing||341||Makalu 1961|
|Nima Dorje||345||Makalu 1961|
|23-7-64||Ang Tshering||203||Everest 1963|
|Girmin Dorje||229||Everest 1963|
|Nawang Dorje||354||Everest 1963|
|Ang Nyima||355||Everest 1963|
|Phu Dorje||351||Everest 1963|
|30-7-65||Dawa Norbu||322||Everest 1965|
|Tashi (Darjeeling)||236||Everest 1965|
|Karma (Darjeeling)||326||Everest 1965||Died 1967|
|Sona (Darjeeling)||357||Everest 1965|
|Kalden (Gangtok)||309||Everest 1965|
|Tenzing Nendra||362||Everest 1965|
|Nawang Hilla||363||Everest 1965|
|Pasang Tendi||364||Everest 1965|
|Mingma Tshering||365||Everest 1965|
|Tenzing Gyatso||366||Everest 1965|
|Pemba Tharke||367||Everest 1965|
|Nima Tenzing||368||Everest 1965|
|Dawa Tenzing||369||Everest 1965|