TRISUL, 1975

The Seattle Garhwal Himalaya Expedition


FOR our first expedition to the Himalaya we wished to climb a high, but not difficult peak. We chose Trisul (23360 ft.), which is famous in Himalayan history.

We were a party of seven; Jan Balut, Dave Hambly, Ray Jewell, Phil Marshall, Gordon Thomas and Mike Clarke (leader). Our liaison officer was U. K. Palat of the Indian Air Force.

All our equipment and high altitude food was taken to India in our airline baggage allowance of 77 pounds each.
We spent a few hot days in Delhi buying our food and kerosene and then we made an interesting two-day bus journey to Lata. Soon after entering the Garhwal hills we encountered a tremend¬ous thunderstorm.

We passed through Lata on 18 May with about 20 porters and 50 goats.

The weather was poor and deteriorating, and going from Lata Kharak to Dibrugheta we had to bivouac soon after crossing the Durashi pass. Heavy snowfall hindered our way to Dibrugheta

After seven days trekking through magnificent country with views of Changabang and Nanda Devi, we reached Base Camp at the usual site (Tridang, 15,000 ft.).

The weather was much the same every day. The morning civ clear and then between midday and three o'clock the clouds - rrpt up the valley and it would snow until six or seven o'clock.

We established Camp 1 at 18,000 ft. on a level snow area below n iMtint on the north ridge of Trisul, which we named point 18,700. Aterrific panorama of the Garhwal Himalaya, from Kamet right around to Mrigthuni to the east, was the reward for the seven hundred-foot climb from Camp 1.

Camp 2 was set in a snow and ice amphitheatre at 20,300 ft. Above the long humped back ridge led to the summit.

Four members made an assault on 2 June, but were beaten by a late start and deep snow.

On 7th June the whole party moved up to Camp 2. A west, wind blew almost constantly at this Camp with snow-dust percolating in to the tents. A false start was made on the 8th since the weather was bad.

9 June dawned clear and cold (0°F) with a strong wind blowing. We follwed up the ridge in beautiful weather and six of the party reached the summit in the early afternoon. We were lucky to have good visibility from the summit. Both the main summit and romice to the south looked identical to the photographs taken tour staff in 1907.

The party was well acclimatized and we found the mountain technically much easier than we expected from our reading about previous expeditions.

We turned to Lata in beautiful weather, although the early arrivalc of the monsoon was evident.

All the members but Dave Hambly and I returned to Delhi; and we spent some six days visiting the beautiful Valley of Flowers (this would make a magnificent climbing area for a month or two) and Badrinath.


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