ASCENT OF KALINDI (19,882 ft.) SUVARN (20,020 ft.) AND UNNAMED PEAKS (18,500 ft. and 18,000 ft.) 1971


OUR Team reached Gangotri on 22 May, 71. We could sign up only eight porters and after relaying loads and spending a day each at Chirbas and Gaumukh, reached our Base Camp on 26 May at Nandanban on the true left of the Chaturangi glacier. There is a good goat track on the true left lateral moraine till it joins the left lateral moraine of the Vasuki glacier. On 29 May the goat track was followed. Going down towards Vasuki glacier we crossed it by a staircase of steps which were cut in the right lateral moraine. Camp I was established on the Vasuki Tal (16,100 ft).

On 31 May our two Sherpas Dorje and Phuri along with Samblxus, Damale, Dillip Singh, the veteran guide, and six porters started for Camp II. They had to descend to the true left ablation valley of the Chaturangi glacier. There was a good track on the left lateral moraine. Soon they reached Suralaya glacier and came down it and established Camp II at its confluence with Chaturangi (at 17,000 ft).

On 1 June, Ganga Singh, Apte and I went along the eastern shore of the Vasuki Tal, crossed a dangerous avalanche field near the foot of the Vasuki Parbat and ascended its north-eastern ridge. The ridge was not steep and the going was easy. We reached an unnamed 18,500 footer peak on it. The whole of the Chaturangi glacier and the peaks on the Chaturangi Dhar lay before us. To the right the Chaturangi glacier was taking a turn towards the North-east to meet the Kalindi glacier. After some time we came back to Camp I.

The party from Camp II crossed the Suralaya glacier and came to the top of the left lateral moraine of Chaturangi, then went along the foot of Chandra Parbat, crossed Seta glacier and established Camp III on the Kalindi glacier (at 18,000 ft).

On 2 June they left Camp III and went along the left lateral moraine of the Kalindi glacier. The going was difficult. After some time they began to climb towards the Kalindi Khal. It was getting rather steep, there was a small ice-fall towards their right. They found a well protected “arm-chair,” free from stone falls or avalanches and established Camp IV (19,000 ft). The porters returned to Camp III.

On 4 June, Ganga Singh and I climbed the North-western ridge of Vasuki Parbat. There was ice on the bolders and the going was very difficult. We gained the summit of the unnamed peak (about 18,000 ft). We were almost in level with a satellite of Bhagirathi II. The basin of Bhagirathi group was visible and an arm of the basin was going towards Vasuki Parbat. The North-east faces of the Bhagirathi III and I were sheer walls. The left moraine and the ablation valley could be followed. The summit of Vasuki Parbat was not visible. We spent a good deal of time, built a cairn and returned to Camp.

At about 1-30 p.m. the other party returned to Camp I, Sam- bhus told the story of the ascent of Kalindi and Suvarn peaks. On 3 June, Sambhus, Dorje, Phuri and Damale left Camp IV at 5-45 a.m. on two ropes. The snow was firm and near the Khal they had to cut a few steps. The pass was guarded by an unnamed peak of 21,140 ft. to the South-west. Beyond the Khal there was a big snow plateau. The North-east ridge of Kalindi peak was descending on to the Kalindi glacier and the South-west on to the Pass. They went up the South-west ridge and reached the summit at 7-30 a.m. To the North-west lay the Mana twins towards the east lay Suvarn (20,020 ft.) towards South-east lay the Arwa glacier. After 20 minutes on the summit they came back to the pass crossed the plateau avoiding the crevasses and climbed up a ridge which was coming down from Suvarn and reached the summit at 9 a.m. later they descended to Camp IV via the pass and came to Camp III in the evening.

The team returned to Base on 5 June and made Gangotri on 7 June.


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