Himalayan Journal vol.35
The Himalayan Journal
Vol.35

Publication year:
1979

Editor:
Soli S. Mehta
Index
  1. EDITORIAL
  2. THE STORY OF THE HIMALAYAN CLUB, 1928-1978
    (JOHN MARTYN)
  3. FIFTY YEARS RETROSPECT AND PROSPECT
    (TREVOR BRAHAM)
  4. THE PASSANRAM AND TALUNG VALLEYS, SIKKIM
    (DR EUGEN ALLWEIN)
  5. NANDA DEVI AND THE SOURCES OF THE GANGES
    (H. W. TILMAN)
  6. THE MOUNT EVEREST RECONNAISSANCE, 1935
    (ERIC SHIPTON)
  7. THE SHAKSGAM EXPEDITION, 1937
    (MICHAEL SPENDER)
  8. GANGOTRI TRIANGULATION
    (Major GORDON OSMASTON)
  9. EVEREST, 1976
    (MAJOR M. W. H. DAY, R.E.)
  10. LHOTSE, 1976
    (KANJI KAMEI)
  11. THE SECOND ASCENT OF LHOTSE, 1977
    (DR HERMANN WARTH)
  12. MAKALU, 1976
    (ANDERS BOUNDER & OTHERS)
  13. THE CLEAN-UP TREK, 1976
    (MICHAEL CORDELL)
  14. THE THIRD KOREAN MANASLU EXPEDITION, 1976
    (JUNG SUP KIM)
  15. THE HONGKONG KANJIROBA EXPEDITION, 1976
    (DICK ISHERWOOD)
  16. AVALANCHE ON SISNE, 1977
    (R. A. L. ANDERSON)
  17. DHAULAGIRI IV, 1975
    (KUNIAKI YAGIHARA)
  18. NORTH SIKKIM, 1976
    (HARISH KAPADIA)
  19. NANDA DEVI FROM THE NORTH, 1976
    (H. ADAMS CARTER)
  20. NANDA DEVI SANCTUARY - A NATURALIST'S REPORT
    (LAVKUMAR KHACHER)
  21. A BOTANICAL SURVEY IN THE NANDA DEVI SANCTUARY, 1974
    (N. C. SHAH)
  22. AN ATTEMPT ON NITALTHAUR, 1974
    (MANIK BANERJEE)
  23. CHAMRAO GLACIER EXPEDITION-1977
    (M. DEY)
  24. CHIRING WE, 1977
    (HARISH KAPADIA)
  25. KINNAUR-1976
    (LIEUTENANT-COLONEL BALWANT SANDHU)
  26. BLACK PEAK, 1976
    (MANDIP SINGH SOIN)
  27. NILAMBAR EXPEDITION, 1977
    (RANVIR SINGH)
  28. POLISH K2 EXPEDITION, 1976
    (JANUSZ KURCZAB)
  29. A CRAWL DOWN THE OGRE
    (DOUG SCOTT)
  30. ISTOR-O-NAL NORTH I, 1976
    (RONALD NAAR)
  31. THE ASCENT OF SHERPI KANGRP 1976
    (PROF. KAZUMASA HIRAI)
  32. AFGHAN DARWAZ, 1975
    (RYSSZARD W. SCHRAMM)
  33. SWISS THUI EXPEDITION, 1975
    (DR ADOLF DIEMBERGER and HANS SCHIBLI)
  34. CLIMBING SHERPAS OF DARJEELING
    (DORJEE LHATOO)
  35. OF MOUNTAINS & MEMORIES
    (SITU MULLICK)
  36. EXPEDITIONS AND NOTES
  37. OBITUARIES
  38. BOOK REVIEWS
  39. LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
  40. CLUB PROCEEDINGS, 1976
  41. EXPEDITIONS 1975-1977

ISTOR-O-NAL NORTH I, 1976

RONALD NAAR

IN July and August 1976 a Dutch expedition visited the mountain area of Chitral and climbed two summits : Ghul Lasht Zom and Istor-o-Nal North I (7373m).

This expedition was the first that the Dutch Mountaineering Association had equipped. The original application included a request for permission to climb Tirich Mir (main summit) and Tirich West (to traverse the four summits), but in fact we only received a permit to climb Istor-o-Nal shortly before our departure.

On 1 July 1976, the expedition left Amsterdam by plane, to fly via Istanbul to Rawalpindi/Islamabad. The leader of the expedition arrived here ten days earlier to arrange the necessary formalities with the Pakistan authorities. The benefit of this was that on 3 July the team could leave for the Hindu Kush by lorry and minibus. They spent the night, at Dir and next day they crossed Lowari pass (3200 m) by jeep and a small lorry. The quality of the road was reasonably good and after changing to six jeeps in Chitral, the climbers were able to reach Mushgul and Drasan.(last post office). Next, with the help of 95 porters the expedition crossed the Zani An (3900m) and reached the Atak Gol and Shagram, where fresh porters were enlisted. The team rested there for one day and re-organized the baggage. After this, the expedition walked in three days to the so-called 'Babul-Camp',having their first and second rests in Sheniag and Trench Camp' or ‘Sugar Base' (where the Upper and the Lower Tirich glaciers come together).

The Babul Camp is situated at the. North-eastern side of the extensive glacier junction of the Upper Tirich glacier, and is situated on the slopes of Istor-o-Nal. It is an ideal place with water, some grass, little stone walls and a grand panorama of the Tirich Group, Dertona Peak, Ghul Lasht Zom, Aspe Safed, Noshaq and Istor-o-Nal. The position of the camp is rather well protected from the cold wind from the Pamirs which blows in August. The altitude of 4800m is also ideal. The position makes it possible to approach nearly all the high mountains in the immediate surroundings, even Tirich Mir, with no more than one hour difference in approach-march relative to the normal rather uncomfortable camp sites. However as far as the south side of Noshaq is concerned, it is better to choose a good site at the north end of the Nobaisom glacier at about 5100 m.

It was decided to climb Ghul Lasht Zom first. On 14 July four men (Rob Weijdert, Bernard Tellegen, Ronald Naar and Jan Hendriks) established Camp 1 (5000m) right across the glacier junction. This was an excellent camp, well protected in a bowl beside the glacier. Two days afterwards, Camp 2 was set up in the glacier valley right underneath the eastern ridge of Ghul Lasht Zom. (Ronald Naar, Jan Hendriks, Ruud van Maastricht and Fred Bongers.) From this camp there were several short climbs possible, to Dertona Peak and to South, West and East Ghul Lasht Zom peaks. From this spot there was a panorama of 360 degrees comprising Noshaq, Istor-o-Nal, Nobaisom Zom, Apollo 11, Glacier Peak and the summits of Tirich Mir and Tirich West. It is a very instructive place to study the harder climbs on the great mountains of this area.

On 19 July the first attempt on the summit was undertaken by Ronald Naar and Jan Hendriks, who at 3 p.m., after a seven-hour climb, reached the eastern peak (6611m). The next day the climb was repeated by Robert Weijdert and Bernard Tellegen and on the 21st by Ruud van Maastricht and Fred Bongers. On the 20th Peter Lombaers and Jan Hendriks tried to climb Dertona Peak, but failed.

On 22 July everyone was back at the Base Camp having dismantled all the supporting camps.

The decision was made to climb Istor-o-Nal North I along the western wall (by the route of its first ascent by Kurt Lapuch from Salzburg and his friend Diemberger in 1967; an alpine-style climb), as the frequently chosen "ridge 1" to the West I and the following traverse to the Main Summit was rather exposed to the cold August wind. The third route to Istor-o-Nal goes through the southern wall and was first climbed by the Yugoslavs in 1971, but they climbed the steep ice-face in May and June. In August, the face is reduced to steep loose rock and is very dangerous. The three biggest unsolved problems remain thus- the "ridge 3" (a marvellous steep and mixed ridge of about 2000 m), the extremely dangerous mixed eastern face (approach difficulties) and the huge Udren wall (about 3000 m and very difficult).

On the 24th (Ruud van Maastricht and Jan Hendriks) and the 25th (Ruud van Maastricht, Peter Lombaers, Robert Weijdert and Bernard Tellegen) surveyed the way to Camp 1 and next day a seven-man team fitted up this camp. It was situated at an altitude of 5500 m right at the bottom of the 2000 m high western wall of North I (7373 m). The main difficulties on the route ahead were finding a way through three steep and crevassed ice- falls at 5800 m, 6100 m and 6400 m. Up to Camp 3 the slope had an average inclination of 40 degrees and still more steep passages in the ice-falls. At two crevasse-walls the team met very steep passages. Four fixed ropes of 20 m each were used.

On 28 July, a way through the first ice-fall was found and a depot was set up in the glacier-bowl right under the second fall (Ronald Naar, Jan Hendriks and Robert Weijdert). During the following days the depot was pushed further up, after which the team withdrew to the Base Camp as a result of a short period of bad weather.

On 3 August the first rope left Base Camp for an attempt. Camp 2 was set up the next day (5000 m) and Camp 3 (6600 m) on 4 August. They reached the summit in a long climb on the 6th (Rudd van Maastricht and Ronald Naar). The next day Bernard Tellegen climbed the summit solo and on the 8th Fred Bongers reached the summit after leaving Jan Hendriks just 200 m below the summit. By 9 August everybody was back in Base Camp.

The march back to Chitral took only three days (14 to 16 August ). The main significance of this expedition for Dutch alpinism was the fact that this climb on Istor-o-Nal was the first one in the Hindu Kush which was performed without the help of foreign alpine guides or of Nepalese Sherpas. Moreover the team reached a height never before reached by a Dutch team. This success can be attributed to the very intensive preparation of the physical condition of the members and the stable weather in the Hindu Kush. No oxygen was used.

Members
Ruud van Maastricht (leader), Gee van Enst, Robert Weijdert Bernard Tellegen, Ronald Naar, Peter Lombaers, Jan Hendriks, Fred Bongers and Captain Asam (liaison officer).

Istor-o-Nal North I showing the Dutch route. Nobaisom Zom on the left.

Istor-o-Nal North I showing the Dutch route. Nobaisom Zom on the left.